When Did Christian America End?

For some it happened recently. This blogger doesn’t refer to the Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, but it’s hard not to think he has it in mind:

The 350-year marriage of Protestant Christian theology and American popular culture is over. Christianity, it may be sadly said, is no longer the preeminent social influence in American life. We Christians who dared to presume that America was ever all and only ours are, apart from some God-ordained awakening, unlikely to “get our country back.” We will live and work henceforth, as do most other Christians around the world, amidst a public square hostile to our beliefs.

The odd wrinkle to Christian readings of the American revolution is that the United Kingdom was a Christian nation. Presbyterians were the established church in Scotland. And King George was head of a church that claimed George Washington as a member (and he was an orthodox Christian, you know). Plus, it seems that King George III wasn’t all that bad a king.

What the United States did was to establish itself without a Christian church. Advocates of a Christian America may not like the language of the separation of church and state, but what the United States did in comparison to Europe and 1500 years of history (and even compared to France where Napolean eventually made Roman Catholicism the established church) was to create a nation without a state church (at the national level — hello) and that prohibited religious tests for holding office. That also meant the churches (except for Congregationalists in New England) had to pay as they went on the basis of their own creative schemes for finding parishioners and persuading them to give (till it hurts — I mean, tithe).

So even though American has been secular for a long time — as long as the U.S.A. has existed — the events of two weeks ago seem to be decisive for making Christians of all kinds abandon the United States as a blessed, favored, or welcome place.

No one except for Rusty Reno seems to recall that in 1996, a time when the Internet was just catching on, Christians were also worried about “The End of Democracy”:

The prospect of a purely political decision from the Court led me back to the famous First Things symposium published in November 1996: “The End of Democracy?” The occasion for that symposium was a federal circuit-court decision finding a right (subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court) to doctor-assisted suicide. The reasons given were identical to those used to justify America’s abortion regime. Richard John Neuhaus and the others who participated in the symposium were deeply concerned about the perverse way in which our constitutional system was turning liberty into an enemy of life.

No matter what the higher courts decided, physician-assisted suicide is still on the books in Oregon. And the number of Americans — since we are after the 14th Amendment now citizens not of the states but of the nation — dying with the help of doctors in Oregon is growing — from 16 in 1998 to 105 last year.

So what I wonder is whether Christian America ended in 1998. I also wonder why more Christians have not been outraged by a federal government that allows Oregon to persist in this law. Maybe secession is unconstitutional, but can’t the Union kick states out? And why single out same-sex marriage? Wasn’t Roe v. Wade worse?

Is it simply that the Internet now gives Americans more room to hyperventilate about Outrage Porn?

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1,367 thoughts on “When Did Christian America End?

  1. The problem with declaring that America was a Christian nation in any way is that that status was in effect during some of America’s most horrendous crimes–i.e., slavery and the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans from the land. This was followed by Jim Crow and the beginning of American overseas Imperialism. That we say America is no longer a Christian nation because of this or that court decision regarding personal morality while maintaining its Christian status during the crimes of the past does leave a bad taste in the mouths of many to whom we would preach the Gospel.

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  2. Hey Curt, Nice Xian American ended when they kicked out Howard Zinn out of the public uni curriculum. Oh, wait — they didn’t. Get to work on those reparations. I have Native American blood so send my a check while you’re at it.

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  3. The end was in 1986 with the first episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

    But aren’t Christians just prone to what is apocalyptic? I’d gladly buy a book that chronicles all the different end-times scenarios, including the year 1000, the year 2000, the coming of the Soviet President with a splotch on his head to cover “666,” and, of course, various SCOTUS decisions that surely signal the end of all things.

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  4. MG – you’re on to something with Pee Wee

    Another relevant question is “When did Christian America begin?”

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  5. Nate, the first time Billy Sunday slid on stage and was “SAFE with Jesus!” I mean, baseball and Jesus – there you have it.

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  6. Christian America ends when you finally realize that not everyone you meet in the world is going to be as kind and protective as your dear old Mom.

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  7. What Oregan has going on with ignoring the SC ruling and not enforcing, but instead allowing doctor assisted suiside is what I am advocating for in our local and State governments in Texas. This principle in not new to the American system of governance. Jefferson and Madison acted on this “nullification” principle against the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams presidency which the SC upheld as constitutional but Kentucky and Virginian by state law called void in their territory because the state government as builders and signers of the Constitution disagree with the SC view of constitionally of those laws. Good book on this by Thomas Woods Jr call “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 20th Century”
    http://www.amazon.com/Nullification-Resist-Federal-Tyranny-Century/dp/1596981490

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  8. Maybe Xian ‘Merica ended when the CCF’s preferred partners Spain and France failed to dominate our part of the New World. But there are remains of a couple of missions in Florida, DeSoto’s ghost — that’s why the South is supposed to be Christ haunted, to use O’Connor’s term. Sure.

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  9. @MichaelTX

    I don’t think Oregon is engaging in the nullification for which you are arguing. Oregon has a statute that permits physician-assisted suicide. The Supreme Court merely held in Glucksberg there is no constitutional right to assisted suicide — not that a state could not permissibly enact such a law.

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  10. Nate,

    Another relevant question is “When did Christian America begin?”

    When Washington and Jefferson started the first evangelical television network. Seriously, just ask David Barton.

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  11. JP, if you continue to insist on accuracy over bumper stickers everyone who wants you to DO SOMETHING will hate you.

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  12. Chortles,

    Not that I am against piling on the papacy, but depending on what kind of blame we are talking about in CA, the Bros. Paschall are responsible for a swath of destruction from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, and the I-5 corridor up to the Oregon border (and beyond, not wanting to spare our home state to the north from our cacophony of ruin).

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  13. MG-
    This won’t help me with the bumper sticker folks, but my sense is most of them would be running to the Supremacy Clause if states were nullifying a law or court decision they liked.

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  14. Muddy,

    Speaking of bumper stickers, I happened to see one reading “Nuke the Gay Whales” on the back of TVD’s ’81 Honda CVCC. What was more curious was the Truck Nutz hanging from below the bumper.

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  15. To answer the question of the post seriously, I’d be inclined to say that the Salem Witch Trials was the beginning of the end of Christian America. By the time Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, it seemed pretty clear that the American consciousness was rejecting an outright Christian state. The secular nature of the Constitution, especially the establishment clause pretty much ensured that no such thing as a Christian Nation would exist so long as the Constitutional Republic endured regardless of how many Christians existed in America.

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  16. Unificator,

    Oddly, that’s not too far from the truth, but after my well-to-do Plantation owning anscestors lost their lands and wealth in the War of Northern Aggression we scattered westward, migrating from the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.

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  17. JP,
    You could be right. I was just going by the way Hart was presenting the situation. It would most likely be a more parallel situation how medical marijuana was rejected by the SC but is still practiced and not effectively illegal in California.

    Regarding the Supremacy Clause, is not what is in question whether the SC decision is “made in pursuance thereof” the actual text and intent of the Constitution what is in despite?

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  18. Jed, I counter your Salem Witch Trials with that Pyrrhic victory, The Scopes Trial.

    Yesterday I saw Nutz on a Toyota pickup. They were small.

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  19. JP,
    To whom does the Constitution give to be the judge of whether a law or decision of the federal gov is “in pursuant thereof”, not a branch of that same federal government, but it would be those who are allowing the Federal government to exercise the rights given to it in the Constitution. We have a limited federal government. This is our system from the beginning.

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  20. When the movie The Grapes of Wrath came out and removed all the bad and honest parts of the book, like Grampa really being the only nice one (yet he had an autroerotic thing going at the dinner table)

    Poor Curt must have the movie running 24/7 in his house so he can get weepy if he starts to feel okay.

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  21. What does “Christian America” as a noun even mean? Unless God declares America, or any nation under heaven, a godly nation then all any government can be is one that legislates ethical principles as they are drawn from the moral law; and all any governed people can be are people who follow those laws. The laws are Christian if they are good/ godly being that Jesus is the Messiah( Christ) of God. You can only use Christian as an adjective to describe America’s values, and if the percentage of the population doesn’t value the virtues anymore the country itself will cease to be a nation that thinks and behaves predominately like Christ wants.

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  22. Jeff,

    “I thought Christian America ended when Buddy Holly died.”

    I like your answer 🙂

    And in the streets, the children screamed
    The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
    But not a word was spoken
    The church bells all were broken…

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  23. I don’t think the RC’s are really in sync with the Friday fun that’s going on here. Does it have something to do with eating fish today?

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  24. C-dubs,

    Our family tree has a couple branches that come back on itself too. And the Bros. Paschall are native Oregonians.

    Jed’s case is getting stronger…

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  25. Hi Dr. Hart,
    Thank you for this post. I have a question to ask and then 2 comments:

    1. Would it be proper to say that the colony of Virginia was once “a Christian nation” -viz., an Anglican nation? (Dale’s code, mandatory church attendance, punishment for denying the Trinity, etc.)

    2. Whether America is “a Christian Nation” or not, I think the recent events are simply the full flowering of thinking and action that has been occurring for many decades now- even before 1973’s Roe v. Wade. Recent events simply show the erosion that was already there- viz., an un-tethering from truth and fact. In short, Psalm 2 illustrated.

    Praise God, though, for the way Psalm 2 ends. Also Isaiah 40:22-23.

    3. Our citizenship is in heaven. (Philippians 3:20).

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  26. @MichaelTX
    I’m familiar with the anti-Judicial Supremacy argument. Something tells me you wouldn’t have been such a big fan of it after Bush v. Gore.

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  27. Chuck, re: Colonial Virginia — I had ancestors fined for not attending the established church and for attending the established church in a state of beverage-induced intoxication. No matter, they devolved into ignorant, teetotaling baptists as the moved south and west.

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  28. Jeff, that’s when the rock music died. Isn’t that how a Christian nation is actually revivalized?

    Susan, to the extent that the Code of Hammurabi reflects the Law of Moses (which was good/godly), does that mean Babylonia was “Christian”? The exiles might differ. But your Van Tilian slip is showing with whatever is good is Christian, i.e. borrowed capital. Are you sure you’ve shaken of all the Protestantism, or is worldviewery lurking with the paradigmism?

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  29. Hart, don’t you know that your real “vocation is to dwell within the ruins of Christendom”?

    http://whyimcatholic.com/index.php/conversion-stories/anglican/86-episcopal-convert-r-r-reno

    It’s not about separation of churches and the state, because it’s more about your not be trusted with any religious liberty.

    “Are we sinful men and women equipped to embark on a project of deciding which churches are best? When church becomes a choice, will we not guide ourselves to our own self-destruction?”

    Hart, if you want to “stay put”, then you are going to need to give up your “mere idea” about “mother kirk” and convert back to the always reforming yet never changing papist riches….

    “St. Benedict followed St. Augustine by insisting that the grace of God is real and concrete. The spiritual arrows of divine love take the form of real people, actual texts, and specific institutions.”

    “A Pentecostal friend came to the Mass of reception at the Jesuit Martyrs’ Chapel. He is a close friend and a man whose faith I admire. After the Mass we talked for a while. He asked me, “So, what did it feel like to become a Catholic?” I told him, “It felt like being submerged into the ocean.” He reacted with a look of thinly disguised horror. That look reminded me that, while I sometimes suffer from an attraction to Emersonian fantasies of self-reliance and disdain for hierarchy, I have never wanted to be alone with God. It has always seemed to me that such a desire too easily turns into a longing to be alone with one’s idea of God, and that is the same as being alone with oneself.”

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  30. Xian ‘Merica. According to FB, Rabbi Cain via Nigeriacamera are gonna tell us how to reclaim it, but they need your bank information first. Xian ‘Merica is one of those prot things, or as Susan proves, prot-rc things. First I ever heard about it was some video by Peter Marshall I was subjected to at a Baptist college group. I’m still looking for a refund on those years.

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  31. JP,
    Guess that would be more of a Florida question. They were the ones with the desire to recount. I was 20 at the time. Just barely legal. It would be a question for the Floridian people to decide if their state’s laws had been violated by the SC going beyond constitutional bounds and whether it was worth denouncing the rest of the state’s president and therefore government of the USA. I am one of those radicals who believes it is right to allow a state to succeed if they wish.

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  32. “I don’t think the RC’s are really in sync with the Friday fun that’s going on here. Does it have something to do with eating fish today?”

    I’m lucky to live close enough to Baja to get authentic fish tacos! I do not trust the Gordon Fisherman. Now you got me thinking….maybe I will make salmon on the grill with capers and onion.

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  33. Mark, we’re closers. We don’t drive Hyundais and we’ve got everyone’s street address and their loved ones as well (just in case).

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  34. ZRIM,

    “Susan, to the extent that the Code of Hammurabi reflects the Law of Moses (which was good/godly), does that mean Babylonia was “Christian”?

    Yes, in as far as it was obeying God it was.

    The exiles might differ. But your Van Tilian slip is showing with whatever is good is Christian, i.e. borrowed capital.

    I’m a proud Catholic, and don’t need Van Til in order to have a W-W that makes sense, but if he and I agree that’s nice….I don’t mind at all:)

    “Are you sure you’ve shaken of all the Protestantism, or is worldviewery lurking with the paradigmism?”

    Why should I apologize for holding a worldview? You got to believe in something or you’ll fall for anything( more borrowed capital I guess). The Church came before America though, so if I’m borrowing, it’s okay. It’s a very Old Religion.

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  35. Jed Paschall
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
    Muddy,

    Speaking of bumper stickers, I happened to see one reading “Nuke the Gay Whales” on the back of TVD’s ’81 Honda CVCC. What was more curious was the Truck Nutz hanging from below the bumper.

    Eerie, man. I actually did have a ’91 Civic with a very faded Lamar Alexander sticker on it.

    FTR, America was mostly a Christian nation–religion was left to the states. The First Amendment reads

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

    States continued to have established churches, and almost all had religious tests for statewide office. We were a recognizably Christian nation, although the secular “Godless Constitution” crowd like to pretend otherwise.

    For most of her history, American law and Biblical morality were compatible, but Justice Kennedy just declared religion [and philosophy!] as unconstitutional in public policy, just as Richard John Neuhaus and the First Things crew foresaw in the 1990s.

    Now shut up and bake me a cake.

    http://christiannews.net/2015/07/09/christian-bakers-who-declined-to-make-cake-for-gay-wedding-to-seek-stay-of-135000-order/

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  36. Our kids will never hear this, and will learn for themselves too late. This is the tragedy, and the scandal of the gay agenda conquering our society.

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/03/9432/

    Here’s a very sad fact of life that never gets portrayed on Glee or Modern Family: I find that men I know who have left their wives as they’ve come out of the closet often lead diminished, and in some cases nearly bankrupt, lives—socially, familially, emotionally, and intellectually. They adjust their entire view of the world and their role within it in order to accommodate what has become the dominant aspect of their lives: their homosexuality. In doing so, they trade rich lives for one-dimensional lives. Yet this is what our post-modern world has taught us to do.

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  37. Good video from Hillsdale at You Tube – Consequences of an Idea: The Social Cost of Redefining Marriage – Robert P. George

    Eugenics was embraced by the elite at one time.
    The pro life cause was, at one time, thought to be a total loss.

    Robert P. George makes an appeal to all of us who believe in the Christian, Biblical view of marriage to pray, to speak out, to not assume that the debate is over, and especially to band together to defend the truth no matter how long it takes and no matter how much it costs.

    I know that this great debated between Catholic and Protestant has been going on for 500 years and will not end anytime soon.

    However, what I do not get is why, at this point in time, with secularism ready to use all of its considerable power to silence us, good men like Dr. Hart and others continue to rail against Catholicism as if that were the greatest threat to the common good at this point in time.

    It makes no sense to me. Anyway, this speech is worth a listen.

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  38. Tom,

    Rest assured, I only kid because I love amigo, but please take the Truck Nutz off of your Honda, it’s unbecoming of a Jeopardy savant.

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  39. The Honda is dead and buried, alas. But I wrung every ounce of life out of her when she finally went to the knackerman after 19 years–the battery was dead, the tires were bald, the gas tank was empty and the ash trays were full.

    Revenge for Pearl Harbor.

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  40. Susan, yes, your home team pride (giddiness?) is unmistakable. But have you considered that a worldview isn’t a faith? One’s inherently all about this world and things seen, the other about the next and things unseen. The Bible never mentions worldview but Hebrews can’t stop talking about faith. Modernity gave us worldview. But historically (I know you guys love your appeals to ancientness) it’s called the Christian faith and for good reason–it’s about transcending this world (even as its very goodness is maintained). Christian worldview has the ring of being way too tied to the goings on of this world. Must be why all the worldviewers and paradigmers have knocking knees over the recent goings on. Not a great witness, I must say.

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  41. “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

    Now THAT’S a worldview. A Universe-view!

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  42. ZRIM,

    ” Susan, yes, your home team pride (giddiness?) is unmistakable.”
    I hate this medium. Steve, aren’t you proud of your creeds? I went through hell to become Catholic, and am still considered to be on the losing side by people that I love, and made fun of by people on this blog and I can’t boast a little? I apologize for coming off as cocky, but if you were sitting across from me you’d have come back with a quick “good one” as you usually do and neither you or I would be offended by the other. I will try harder.

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  43. Posted July 10, 2015 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    ““There is not a square inch in the whole domain of existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

    Now THAT’S a worldview. A Universe-view!”

    Yes! That’s it!

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  44. Susan
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    ““There is not a square inch in the whole domain of existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

    Now THAT’S a worldview. A Universe-view!”

    Yes! That’s it!

    Whose Calvinism is it, anyway? 😉

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  45. ““There is not a square inch in the whole domain of existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

    Now THAT’S a worldview. A Universe-view!”

    It’s so strange, it was the god pep rallies that drove me to the brink but others seem invigorated by them. #FBFeelgoodism’mericaporn

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  46. The chief problem here is that the author’s premise is wrong. Many conservative Christians mistake indifference for hostility. I don’t think that the culture in the US is hostile to orthodox Christian belief and practice. The culture is simply indifferent to it. The culture only becomes hostile when Christians try to make it care about Christianity. But this isn’t hostility to the Christian faith; it’s hostility to being bothered by a bunch or religious busy-bodies who can’t seem to mind their own business.

    The overwhelming majority of Americans still believe that marriage is rightly something that exists between man and woman. Even so, many such people see no cost to themselves by allowing the benefits of civil marriage to be extended to commitments between two members of the same sex. And if granting same-sex couples such rights may lead evangelicals to do a better job of minding their own business, the average Joe may see a silver lining there.

    But, no, America is not hostile to Christianity. It’s just hostile to being badgered about Christianity.

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  47. Bobby
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink
    The chief problem here is that the author’s premise is wrong. Many conservative Christians mistake indifference for hostility. I don’t think that the culture in the US is hostile to orthodox Christian belief and practice. The culture is simply indifferent to it. The culture only becomes hostile when Christians try to make it care about Christianity. But this isn’t hostility to the Christian faith; it’s hostility to being bothered by a bunch or religious busy-bodies who can’t seem to mind their own business.

    The overwhelming majority of Americans still believe that marriage is rightly something that exists between man and woman. Even so, many such people see no cost to themselves by allowing the benefits of civil marriage to be extended to commitments between two members of the same sex. And if granting same-sex couples such rights may lead evangelicals to do a better job of minding their own business, the average Joe may see a silver lining there.

    But, no, America is not hostile to Christianity. It’s just hostile to being badgered about Christianity.

    It’s just hostile when Christianity doesn’t know its place–behind closed doors, out of sight, out of mind.

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  48. Susan, pride is not a way I’d describe my own take, no. Having done it, I can appreciate the kind of struggles one might have in moving through these things. And it’s not making fun, it’s to say that when one comes to a place where one still has critics the glee comes off less as confidence than a zeal not according to knowledge.

    Still, the question re worldview v. faith stands. My guess is that you want to contend for both but here’s another instance of contending for faith alone.

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  49. Jeff, but wouldn’t it be a good point to say that Curt expects the United States to exhibit sanctification for it to qualify as Christian? Maybe the U.S. is neither sanctified nor backslidden. It’s just a nation.

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  50. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 12:36 am | Permalink
    cw, xianmerica ended today when SC furled the Confederate Flag.

    Dr. Hart slimes Christianity in America via America’s racism. How ironic that Frederick Douglass found the Presbyterians in America most guilty not in their racism, but in their weak-kneed opposition to it. Dr. Hart continues the fine American Presbyterian tradition of faint protest in the face of evil, and self-satisfaction in swinging its tiny balls.

    Douglass [1846]: Slavery in the Pulpit of the Evangelical Alliance

    When the Presbyterian assembly was called on a few years ago, to say that slavery is a sin against God, it was voted by the Assembly, that it is inexpedient to take action on the subject, and as soon as that was done, Dr. Cox jumped up and clapped his hands, and thanked God that their Vesuvius was capped; and having got rid of slavery, they all engaged in prayer; while the poor heart-broken slave was lifting up his hands to them, and clanking his chains and imploring them in the name of God to aid him; and their reply was, it is inexpedient for us to do so: and Dr. Cox clapped his hands and thanked God that the Vesuvius was capped; that is, that the question of slavery is got rid of.

    Two Kingdoms theology triumphant.

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  51. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 12:42 am | Permalink
    Susan, and what does the Eternal City mean?

    Think about it.

    The Great Commission
    …19″Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

    [St.] Thomas More made this a centerpiece of his argument against the early Reformer William Tyndale, Dr. Hart.

    That Christ would abandon His Church for the 1000 years between Constantine and Martin Luther is contrascriptual, and then waiting another 500 years for JG Machen and his epigone DG Hart to perfect THAT is even more contrascriptural, you big sola scriptura lug, you.

    “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I shall not build my church, and then within 50 years it will be bogus for 1500 years until a psycho named Martin Luther shows up, and then my church will at last get it right.”—The Gospel According to St. Bastard.

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  52. ZRIM,

    “Susan, pride is not a way I’d describe my own take, no. Having done it, I can appreciate the kind of struggles one might have in moving through these things. And it’s not making fun, it’s to say that when one comes to a place where one still has critics the glee comes off less as confidence than a zeal not according to knowledge.”

    I will always have critics, but that’s okay “now”( I’m better). Catholicism isn’t liked, and I have been( as I’ve said) a little harangued, but I do have confidence that, not only have I made the right decision, but that Jesus has led me to this decison( MOC), so if I have zeal, it’s good, but when I have glee (as in gloating), I am behaving as if I have no knowledge. But I do have knowledge( and confidence which I have provide proof for) and that’s why I apologized. All that said, I am proud to be Catholic since it is the church Jesus founded. I say it like that because that it not what I could put my confidence in before. Before I was like
    Orestes Brownston:

    “I had joined the [Presbyterian] church because I had despaired of myself, and because despairing of reason I had wished to submit to authority. If the Presbyterian church had satisfied me that she had authority, was authorized by Almighty God to teach and direct me, I could have continued to submit; but while she exercised the most rigid authority over me, she disclaimed all authority to teach me, and remitted me to the Scriptures and private judgment. ‘We do not ask you to take this as your creed,’ said my pastor, on giving me a copy of the Presbyterian Confession of Faith; ‘we do not give you this as a summary of the doctrines you must hold, but as an excellent summary of the doctrines which we believe the Scriptures teach. What you are to believe is the Bible. You must take the Bible as your creed, and read it with a prayerful mind, begging the Holy Ghost to aid you to understand it aright.’ But while the church refused to take the responsibility of telling me what doctrines I must believe, while she sent me to the Bible and private judgment, she yet claimed authority to condemn and excommunicate me as a heretic, if I departed from the standard of doctrine contained in her Confession.

    This I regarded as unfair treatment. It subjected me to all the disadvantages of authority without any of its advantages. The church demanded that I should treat her as a true mother, while she was free to treat me only as a step-son, or even as a stranger. Be one thing or another, said I; either assume the authority and the responsibility of teaching and directing me, or leave me with the responsibility [of] my freedom. If you have authority from God, avow it, and exercise it. I am all submission. I will hold what you say, and do what you bid. If you have not, then say so, and forbear to call me to an account for differing from you, or disregarding your teachings. Either bind me or loose me. Do not mock me with a freedom which is no freedom, or with an authority which is illusory. If you claim authority over my faith, tell me what I must believe, and do not throw upon me the labor and responsibility of forming a creed for myself; if you do not, if you send me to the Bible and private judgment, to find out the Christian faith the best way I can, do not hold me obliged to conform to your standards, or assume the right to anathematize me for departing from them. (pp. 23-25) (Thanks to T. Ciatoris for bringing this to my attention.)”

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  53. TVHS, be kind and please rewind — how’s that Kuyperian u–w working in Amsterdam these days? For that matter how is the CCF and it’s w–w doing? Have you ever been to Rome? I have. And it’s rancid. Have you been to Catholic-dominated Central America? I have. It’s mostly a violent, immoral sewer. The ‘views aren’t working for the world.

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  54. cw l’unificateur
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink
    TVHS, be kind and please rewind — how’s that Kuyperian u–w working in Amsterdam these days? For that matter how is the CCF and it’s w–w doing? Have you ever been to Rome? I have. And it’s rancid. Have you been to Catholic-dominated Central America? I have. It’s mostly a violent, immoral sewer. The ‘views aren’t working for the world.>>>>

    I don’t understand your point, cw l’unificateur. Do you think that less Christianity is better, or worse? The more people turn from the truth of the Gospel and a Christian worldview, the worse a society gets.

    All of your examples show what happens when people either accept or have other world views forced on them. We have yet to see the full impact of that here in the US, but we have seen a lot already.

    Why is Central America so violent? Do you know what world views are competing with Catholicism and all kinds of Christianity in, say, Honduras? Do you understand why San Pedro Sula is one of the most violent cities in the world?

    The more the formerly Christian world turns its back on Christianity, the more violent and miserable it becomes. It is our choice, and we are making some very wrong choices. I am not sure what you are trying to prove, but that is what I see happening in all the places you mention.

    Besides, why don’t you go preach the Gospel in those places?

    Like

  55. TVD:“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”
    Now THAT’S a worldview. A Universe-view!

    Or Psalms -He who sits in the heavens laughs; scoffing at the nations; He sees his day is coming

    Like

  56. D. G. Hart :if our citizenship is in heaven, Christian America died when Jesus ascended to prepare a home for his people.

    yet from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron Rev19:15a

    Yet too, No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Tim 2: 4

    Like

  57. TVD:Now shut up and bake me a cake.

    “The Kleins have been struggling financially ever since they were forced to close the doors of their bakery in 2013 as their income was basically cut in half. The couple has been notified that they must pay the 135K damages by next Monday or risk having a government lien placed on their home.”

    Like

  58. Something far more devastating than gay marriage occurred last night, I witnessed a Led Zeppelin cover band entertaining a whole horde of boomers decked out in their children’s arena rock/club attire. #Diealready

    Like

  59. To use biblical language in addressing this subject, one could say that Christian America is without end because it is without beginning.

    Now for D.G.’s point. Would anyone say that a “social Gospeler” is sanctified regardless of their personal morals simply because of their concerns for social justice?

    Like

  60. Senora Webfoot, I’ve been to Tegucigalpa. The point is that w-w does not fix everything. Rome owned Central America for centuries and that ownership did little or nothing to fix the problems, prevent wars, lift the people out of poverty, etc. And what is this Romanist w-w anyway? Which one?

    – Marxist Liberation theology
    – Embarrased-with-Marxism Liberation theology
    – SSPX trads
    – Liberal German
    – NPR liberal nuns-in-slacks
    – Central American syncretistic folk version
    – Franco-fascist law-and-order style
    – Swiss forget-Rome-we’ll-do-it-our-way style
    – Fox News Repblican culture warrior style
    – KoC buzzed bar-b-q style
    – Increasingly-embattled Irish
    – CTC fairly land

    Unificating minds want to know.

    Like

  61. Zrim: Still, the question re worldview v. faith stands.

    isn’t it, not worldview vs. faith but worldview = faith; either in one’s gods or the one true God

    while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:23-31

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  62. Following up on my indifference comment above…

    I went “home” to Tennessee last weekend. My extended family is split about evenly between evangelicals and conservative mainliners. The two hottest topics at the holiday cook-out were: the Obergefell decision and my cousin’s anti-GMO-eating girlfriend.

    In observing the host of opinions expressed over these two issues, I began to wonder whether the chief difference between evangelicals and conservative mainliners lies in how to react to silly ideas. Put another way, I wonder whether the chief difference lies with whether you believe that cultural is fundamentally stable or fundamentally fragile.

    The conservative mainliners in my family generally believe that culture is fundamentally fairly stable. They’re willing to let silly ideas run their course and flame out. They may think that same-sex marriage is silly, but they’re willing to give it its day in the sun and let it die under its own weight. The same goes for 30-somethings who come to the family picnic and don’t partake of pulled pork and cheesy potatoes. In fact, in the minds of most conservative mainliners, giving too much attention to opposing silliness only gives it credibility that it doesn’t otherwise deserve.

    By contrast, the evangelicals in my family believe that culture is about to collapse tomorrow, if it hasn’t done so already, and that we have to fight every little cultural shift that threatens to upset the apple cart. They believe that the Obergefell decision ushered in a kind of post-Christian apocalypse, uttered while lounging on a veranda wearing a Lilly Pulitzer dress and sipping Viognier. They’re also certain that my aunt should simply instruct my cousin that his sweet girlfriend has no place in a pork-eating family.

    The frustration that many of us conservative mainliners feel toward evangelicals is that the evangelical penchant for cultural pugilism tends to undermine our efforts to let silliness die a slow death. So, we fear that evangelical overreaction often gives undue credibility to things like same-sex marriage and GMO avoidance and thereby perpetuates them beyond when they would have died a natural death.

    I’m generally pretty favorably disposed to evangelical theology, although I can do without certain prophylactic concepts like biblical inerrancy and biblical manhood/womanhood. But I just can’t be convinced that culture is fundamentally fragile. I also don’t believe that this world is my home, which frees me to take life as it comes. That’s probably what attracts me to 2k evangelical theology: It represents a brand of evangelicalism that doesn’t suffer from the henny-penny syndrome that seems to afflict the rest of the movement.

    Like

  63. bobby, “The conservative mainliners in my family generally believe that culture is fundamentally fairly stable. They’re willing to let silly ideas run their course and flame out. They may think that same-sex marriage is silly, but they’re willing to give it its day in the sun and let it die under its own weight.”

    I’m hurt. This is the position that several at Old Life have expressed and they have enough sense to leave the mainline.

    Plus, the conservatives in the mainline have been hyperventilating. See the site Juicy Ecumenism.

    Like

  64. 1. Dr. HART, thanks for the connecting of Christ’s ascension with our citizenship. Good and clear.

    2. ZRIM- I really appreciate your thought on faith v. worldview. I agree: it is one’s faith, and not one’s worldview. (This is not to say I am fussy about people who use the word “worldview.” I sympathize with what they are wanting to say. Yet, I think to use the category, “one’s faith” is much more accurate and helpful.)

    3. CW, thank you for sharing on July 10 at 3:19 pm about your ancestor. I enjoyed it. By the way, I wonder if you are a closet Huguenot?! (Your name, I guess, along with your comments, make me think so…) I appreciate the Huguenots.

    Like

  65. a period, so a conflating synonym? But if worldview aligns with provisional life and faith with eternal life then welcome to kingdom confusion. Also welcome to Nero’s world where the persecution of the faithful depends on kingdom confusion, not America where saying “Jesus (not Caesar) is Lord” is still protected. Do worldviewers who both conflate kingdoms and love America understand that the 2k distinction between worldview and faith is what will keep them safe and not conflating?

    Like

  66. Chuck, I realize you’re a rookie but the term “closet” is a dirty one around here, lately at least. No French blood since a paternal ancestor who allegedly came over the Channel with William in 1066. I assume he emptied slop buckets or some such.

    Like

  67. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
    bobby, “The conservative mainliners in my family generally believe that culture is fundamentally fairly stable. They’re willing to let silly ideas run their course and flame out. They may think that same-sex marriage is silly, but they’re willing to give it its day in the sun and let it die under its own weight.”

    I’m hurt. This is the position that several at Old Life have expressed and they have enough sense to leave the mainline.

    Semper schismata. Take your ball down the street and start a new game. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Plus, the conservatives in the mainline have been hyperventilating. See the site Juicy Ecumenism.

    You prefer to stop breathing. How admirable.

    Like

  68. a.
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink
    TVD:Now shut up and bake me a cake.

    “The Kleins have been struggling financially ever since they were forced to close the doors of their bakery in 2013 as their income was basically cut in half. The couple has been notified that they must pay the 135K damages by next Monday or risk having a government lien placed on their home.”

    Stop hyperventilating.

    Like

  69. Tom, let’s pretend you finally got serious one day. Would you need a paper bag if I refused to bake you a First Communion cake?

    Like

  70. Zrim
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink
    Tom, let’s pretend you finally got serious one day. Would you need a paper bag if I refused to bake you a First Communion cake?

    I’m always serious. I just seem like I’m joking because most of the Old Lifers are so dull.

    As for your question, I think you’re asking how much I value religious freedom. Answer: a lot. Now shut up and bake, Christian Boy. Obey your new pagan masters.

    Like

  71. DGH:

    I didn’t suggest that the mainline was like that as a whole. The conservatives are certainly a minority. It’s probably also more characteristic of the South too.

    Like

  72. TVD: a. Stop hyperventilating.
    Bobby:undue credibility to things like same-sex marriage and GMO avoidance

    just sympathizing with the Kleins right now, TVD, since it sounds like their life is very difficult and in financial ruin at this moment ; oh wait, never mind, Bobby says it is just affecting them the same sitting as around having a debate about GMO

    Like

  73. I have a comment in moderation though it has just one link. In any case, there is a fundraising website for the Kleins that indicates they have raised $339,000. It’s a “Continue to Give” website.

    Like

  74. Tom, not really. I’m asking how you’d feel if instead of a moral protest against a gay marriage, I made a doctrinal protest as a Calvinist baker about participating in your (finally serious) plunge into the popish mass. Just to be clear, we Calvinists not only find humble vocations like baking admirable but also aren’t keen on said plunges. If you want the Kleins free to withhold their products from homosexuals on moral grounds, what happens when I withhold from Catholics on doctrinal grounds? Will you come to my aid, or will you use it as more proof that Calvinists are world class jerkholes?

    Like

  75. I’m seeing a number of Christians saying businesses should be able to deny service for any reason they want. So, in their world we are always checking signs on stores to see what race, religion or sex they won’t serve? And if you’re a disfavored class in a small town maybe you can’t buy groceries? This is disturbing push back.

    Like

  76. Zrim
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink
    Tom, not really. I’m asking how you’d feel if instead of a moral protest against a gay marriage, I made a doctrinal protest as a Calvinist baker about participating in your (finally serious) plunge into the popish mass. Just to be clear, we Calvinists not only find humble vocations like baking admirable but also aren’t keen on said plunges. If you want the Kleins free to withhold their products from homosexuals on moral grounds, what happens when I withhold from Catholics on doctrinal grounds? Will you come to my aid, or will you use it as more proof that Calvinists are world class jerkholes?

    Yes, and yes. 😉

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  77. Muddy Gravel
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 9:39 pm | Permalink
    I’m seeing a number of Christians saying businesses should be able to deny service for any reason they want. So, in their world we are always checking signs on stores to see what race, religion or sex they won’t serve? And if you’re a disfavored class in a small town maybe you can’t buy groceries? This is disturbing push back.

    An equivalence between race and sexual conduct is a false premise.

    This is how traditional morality lost the debate, on a clever trick. Once Black = Gay, a tidal wave of historical examples and arguments [see Loving v. Virginia] swept traditional morality away.

    Like

  78. TVD, stop doing what you always do if only briefly. If you support that businesses should be able to deny service for any reason then make your defense of that practice. Also, if you think grocery stores should be able to deny service to gays defend that as well.

    Like

  79. Muddy Gravel
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink
    TVD, stop doing what you always do if only briefly. If you support that businesses should be able to deny service for any reason then make your defense of that practice. Also, if you think grocery stores should be able to deny service to gays defend that as well.

    You’re arguing a false premise again. Mr. Gravel. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind? Which is it, can’t think straight, or don’t listen carefully?

    Gay ≠ Black.
    Sexual conduct ≠ Skin color.
    Same-Sex Attraction ≠ We have to make a social institution out of it.
    Rejection of gay marriage ≠ Discrimination against persons attracted to members of the same sex

    Are you completely unacquainted with these concepts, this argument? If so, what rock do you live under, MG?

    Like

  80. Cw il Unificatorio
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink
    Senora Webfoot, I’ve been to Tegucigalpa.>>>>>

    You have been in one city in Central America, then? I will ask you again. Why don’t you go preach the Gospel in those places?

    BTW, did you know that San Pedro Sula has a first rate music conservatory? Do you think the place is completely uncivilized?

    Liberation theology and nuns in pants are not what caused the surge in violence in the country. Our abandonment of Christian values, – especially manifested in our insatiable desire for illegal drugs – has done more than anything else to create present day Honduras.

    Would more Christianity in the US hurt Honduras, or help Honduras?

    I guess that for a radical 2Ker, the Catholic Church is the go to trouble maker in the world. If you could just get her to go away, the world would be better off. Never mind that you guys are not very interested in preaching the Gospel you claim as your own.

    Oh, never mind…

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  81. Tom, gay may not be equivalent to black but what do either have to do with groceries? There is such a thing as living in a society among those whom you take any number of great exceptions. But your hyper sense of religious liberty leads you to say some pretty dumb things, Mr. Smarty Pants.

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  82. TVD, you totally skipped by the issue: an extreme libertarian view that businesses should be able to refuse anyone for any reason. Then you take objection on the fact that others have made homosexuals a protected class. Well, it wasn’t the overall point and anyone who has not been in a coma for the last ten years or took an SAT prior to being in a coma knows that homosexuality has significant dissimilarities with being black.

    In other words, you added nothing and were simply Captain Obvious. But you did annoy and that’s your pellet here anyway. Congrats, I hope it’s a savory one.

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  83. Muddy Gravel
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink
    TVD, you totally skipped by the issue: an extreme libertarian view that businesses should be able to refuse anyone for any reason. Then you take objection on the fact that others have made homosexuals a protected class. Well, it wasn’t the overall point and anyone who has not been in a coma for the last ten years or took an SAT prior to being in a coma knows that homosexuality has significant dissimilarities with being black.

    Then why did you go there?

    So, in their world we are always checking signs on stores to see what race, religion or sex they won’t serve? And if you’re a disfavored class in a small town maybe you can’t buy groceries? This is disturbing push back.

    How annoying.

    Zrim
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink
    Tom, gay may not be equivalent to black but what do either have to do with groceries? There is such a thing as living in a society among those whom you take any number of great exceptions. But your hyper sense of religious liberty leads you to say some pretty dumb things, Mr. Smarty Pants.

    You can’t see the difference between refusing to bake a cake for an individual with same-sex attraction and baking a cake for a gay marriage? Between refusing to sell groceries and not wanting to give an orphan to be raised by a pair of gay “parents?”

    This shows why principled discussion became impossible in America and was reduced to absurdity before it could ever start.

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  84. Tom, actually I do see a difference (you’re not reading closely). MG is concerned about a hyper sense of religious liberty that leads to allowing the barring of homosexuals and blacks from purchasing groceries, and you’re not protesting. You keep throwing down something about how to be black isn’t to be gay (duh), not any reasoning that would protect our fellow citizens. I though you were the good guy who came to everyone’s aid, even a jerkhole Calvinist?

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  85. Cw,

    The political and cultural issues of Centrall American countries stem from two main sources:

    1) The tiny number of families who owned the land, the resulting abuses of justice (given their hostility to Crown and Church influence), and subsequent difficulties in developing a just society;

    2) US cooperation with these families to promote revolution (successful) and incorporation as US states (unsuccessful).

    Would you care to apply your argument to Brazil? Has any country on Earth been simultaneously as prosperous, peaceful, united such diverse populations (Sao Paulo is half Italian, majority of the South is German, Polish, Ukrainian, etc.), and channeled its economy to spread a good life widely? It’s not all favelas- and their favelas beat most of our inner cities.

    Brazil’s successes are largely Catholic successes. It’s a great comparison to the US.

    Like

  86. Zrim
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink
    Tom, actually I do see a difference (you’re not reading closely). MG is concerned about a hyper sense of religious liberty that leads to allowing the barring of homosexuals and blacks from purchasing groceries, and you’re not protesting.

    Because it’s a stupid argument. We all know that theoretically anyone should be able to decline service to anybody, but as we just saw, once you compare anything to segregated lunch counters in the South, the discussion’s over.

    Same ol’ same ol’ debate tactics, never getting near the actual issue, the state coercing people against their religious conscience. And it’s not just bakers, it’s photographers, florists, etc.

    And it’s going to extend to religious schools and organizations. Have you been paying attention?

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

    The spitstorm is just beginning.

    You keep throwing down something about how to be black isn’t to be gay (duh), not any reasoning that would protect our fellow citizens. I though you were the good guy who came to everyone’s aid, even a jerkhole Calvinist?

    The jerkholiness here has nothing to do with Calvinism. 😉

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  87. Zrim, Muddy,

    SSA is unfortunate, but s. are other aspects of our genetics.

    Do you believe sexual acctivity outside of Christian marriage reinforces lust?

    Do you believe lust blinds? I.e., that immorality diminishes the ability to act well?

    If so, then homosexual behavior (and pornography, and inappropriate ‘straight’ sexual behavior) have an impact on others.

    SSM scandalously sanctions and facilitates lust. It is immoral to facilitate sin, particularly when that sin affects others.

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  88. TVD you get no more pellets from me. Nudge the lever however many times you wish, I’m not giving you any more.

    Kevin, I think you’re in a different category but still I have to say that long-term immersion into the culture wars addles the brain. I say Christians are going into dangerous territory by saying businesses should be able to refuse anyone for any reason and you ask a series of questions on lust, immorality, and pornography? Please point out anything I’ve said that makes your questions anything but a series of non sequiturs.

    But if want to talk along that line you can put your cards on the table first. A hotel owner undoubtedly profits from illicit sex happening on beds that he provides. We all know it. Can a Christian own a hotel?

    Like

  89. To reiterate the obvious.
    Again.
    IOW distinguish between selling generic groceries/bakery goods to one and all vs. pointedly aiding and particularly abetting someone in their idolatry/immorality.

    Refusing to bake communion wafers for Romanists or wedding cakes for sodomite/lesbians is not a violation of their civil rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Free exercise of one’s religion covers the first and free exercise of one’s liberty in regard to another’s perverted pursuit of “happiness” covers the second.

    As for the question of when did Christian2k America end? arguably, after we got rid of chattel slavery when Roe Wade enshrined legal murder.

    But is it one thing according to natural law to make the illegal legal; another to make participation mandatory which is what the Hobby Lobby/Sisters of Charity cases were all about, never mind the most recent decision on yet another egregious violation of the natural law where again, what is not forbidden, is mandatory in principle for all.

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  90. Kevin in Newark
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
    Cw,

    The political and cultural issues of Central American countries stem from two main sources:

    1) The tiny number of families who owned the land, the resulting abuses of justice (given their hostility to Crown and Church influence), and subsequent difficulties in developing a just society;

    2) US cooperation with these families to promote revolution (successful) and incorporation as US states (unsuccessful).

    Would you care to apply your argument to Brazil? Has any country on Earth been simultaneously as prosperous, peaceful, united such diverse populations (Sao Paulo is half Italian, majority of the South is German, Polish, Ukrainian, etc.), and channeled its economy to spread a good life widely? It’s not all favelas- and their favelas beat most of our inner cities.

    Brazil’s successes are largely Catholic successes. It’s a great comparison to the US.

    I’d be very comfortable arguing that the Protestant countries have done far better than the Catholic ones. The worst EU economies–PIIGS [Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain]–are all Catholic.

    The Catholic countries, for better or worse, have historically been more communitarian, which has translated into a bigger public sector and less dynamic private business economies.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18789154

    The eurozone’s religious faultline
    By Chris Bowlby
    BBC Radio 4
    19 July 2012

    Discussion among eurozone leaders about the future of their single currency has become an increasingly divisive affair. On the surface, religion has nothing to do with it – but could Protestant and Catholic leaders have deep-seated instincts that lead them to pull the eurozone in different directions, until it breaks?

    OTOH, I’d also be comfortable arguing that the further you are from the tropics, the more industrious you have to be. The “Catholic Zone” is to the south of the Protestant one.

    Like

  91. Muddy Gravel
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink
    TVD you get no more pellets from me. Nudge the lever however many times you wish, I’m not giving you any more.

    Go in peace, Mr. Gravel. But first read and learn.

    Bob S
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
    To reiterate the obvious.
    Again.
    IOW distinguish between selling generic groceries/bakery goods to one and all vs. pointedly aiding and particularly abetting someone in their idolatry/immorality.

    Refusing to bake communion wafers for Romanists or wedding cakes for sodomite/lesbians is not a violation of their civil rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Free exercise of one’s religion covers the first and free exercise of one’s liberty in regard to another’s perverted pursuit of “happiness” covers the second.

    As for the question of when did Christian2k America end? arguably, after we got rid of chattel slavery when Roe Wade enshrined legal murder.

    But is it one thing according to natural law to make the illegal legal; another to make participation mandatory which is what the Hobby Lobby/Sisters of Charity cases were all about, never mind the most recent decision on yet another egregious violation of the natural law where again, what is not forbidden, is mandatory in principle for all.

    Dunno about the slavery part, but the remainder is nice and sparkling clear.

    Like

  92. Tom, some don’t share your assumptions (we all know that theoretically anyone should be able to decline service to anybody). When in the service of the public, one forfeits certain luxuries. If you’re a Catholic pharmacist and you have a moral objection to birth control, maybe instead of whining about personal accommodation you should find other work? Kevin wonder about the effects of lust on broader society. Do radical libertarians ever consider the effects of individualism, i.e. it’s all about me and my creaturely comfort and ease?

    Kevin, what MG said. You’re doing that thing I mentioned somewhere around here recently of making a moral point and assuming it contributes to and even settles the political questions. It doesn’t. Yes, lust is morally bad. Clearly R-rated movies and bikinis should be banned, right?

    Like

  93. Zrim
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink
    Tom, some don’t share your assumptions (we all know that theoretically anyone should be able to decline service to anybody). When in the service of the public, one forfeits certain luxuries.

    Natural rights are not luxuries, they are essential, they are unalienable. Neither is the “public” my master. I do not “serve” the public. I am not an agent of the state. Once again, the premises are all false.

    If you’re a Catholic pharmacist and you have a moral objection to birth control, maybe instead of whining about personal accommodation you should find other work?

    No, perhaps I should put up a sign “This pharmacy does not dispense contraceptives.” Although a more honest example is abortifacients. Catholics to my knowledge don’t refuse to dispense contraceptives, however Christians of all stripes have problems with killing an embryo, since life begins at conception.

    Indeed, I should be able to put up a sign to just that effect and perhaps discourage someone from killing their embryo.

    Kevin wonder about the effects of lust on broader society. Do radical libertarians ever consider the effects of individualism, i.e. it’s all about me and my creaturely comfort and ease?

    My problem is with radical individualism. I’m not a social libertarian, which is the same thing as asociality, and radical individualism. The whole point of a society is its self-preservation, and that means the cycle of life, raising kids. In fact, according to Vattel, I think it was, the fact that we don’t raise ourselves is the foundation of society, and the source of our obligation to it.

    If there were no such thing as children, society would not be necessary except for self-defense against animals and murderers. However, it’s not, and that’s where Michael’s plea for community morality comes in. I think the sexual revolution is often injurious, and I don’t want our kids to be encouraged by the government to ‘experiment’ with their lives and souls.

    At the moment, we know precious little about homosexuality,

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/02/same-sex-science

    but we have just uprooted thousands of years of social norms without any idea of what we’re doing, via Justice Kennedy’s twisted notions of “liberty” and “dignity.”

    Like

  94. Clearly R-rated movies and bikinis should be banned, right?

    I don’t think DGH and Chortles would appreciate having their banana hammock privileges revoked. The Men in Outrageous Bathing Suits Convention is meeting this year at La Jolla Shores.

    Like

  95. I’m thinking about employing a mixed confederate and rainbow flag on FB and see if everyone will defriend me. Wish me luck.

    Like

  96. What is particularly interesting is that internationally, as the share of catholics increases in a country so does support for divorce and ssm. This suggests that the relative moral licentiousness of Catholics relative to prots is not someyhing peculiar to the west or America. Instead it is systemic.

    Perhaps the ecclesiastical chaos of prots results in a more robust Christianity in the same way the economic chaos of a free market results in stronger economies than centrally planned ones. The socialist paradigm has unassailable syllogisms that never seem to pan out in practice…kinda like certain other paradigms we’vebeen called to.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/catholics-are-more-progressive-than-the-vatican-and-almost-everyone-else/

    Like

  97. Tvd-

    I’d be very comfortable arguing that the Protestant countries have done far better than the Catholic ones. The worst EU economies–PIIGS [Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain]–are all Catholic. The Catholic countries, for better or worse, have historically been more communitarian, which has translated into a bigger public sector and less dynamic private business economies.

    The key counter-case is West Germany (1948-1991). Majority Catholic, but more importantly led by largely Catholic party, the Christian Democratic Union. Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Finance Minister Ludwig Erhard (Lutheran, I think) created the so-called German Economic Miracle through sound economics based in Catholic Social Teachings.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_market_economy


    Gen. Lucius Clay of Georgia:“Herr Erhard, my advisers tell me what you have done is a terrible mistake. What do you say to that?”

    Erhard:“Herr General, pay no attention to them! My advisers tell me the same thing.”

    The only reason the US permitted Adenauer to take power was that he was unimpeachably antiNazi.

    Poland is also doing well, and I hope the Visegrad group (Poland, Czech R, Slovakia, Hungary) will have long-term significance. It has its own army now.

    Austria under Dollfuss and pre-WWII Portgual were trying for something similar – Nazism and Communist uprisings kept it at bay.

    One of the wealthiest regions in Europe is Emilia-Romagna, another is the Tyrol- northern Italy is doing well. The South would have been doing well if not for unification. Italy really shouldn’t be one country, but the international business interests made it happen and preserve it.

    Spain is a sad case. Greece hasn’t been Catholic since the Genoese and Venetians left and the Turks took over.

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  98. Tom, then you wouldn’t do very well on “The Roman Catholic Church and Birth Control” (for $600, Alex).

    In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued his landmark encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (Latin, “Human Life”), which reemphasized the Church’s constant teaching that it is always intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent new human beings from coming into existence.

    Contraception is “any action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act [sexual intercourse], or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” (Humanae Vitae 14). This includes sterilization, condoms and other barrier methods, spermicides, coitus interruptus (withdrawal method), the Pill, and all other such methods.

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/birth-control

    So the more relevant example isn’t abortifacients but contraception. While (some) Prots and (some) Cats agree that life begins at conception, evidently (some) Cats think it begins even before that. But the point is that while family and not religious liberty is the cornerstone, there’s more to society than kids. What about married heteros who don’t have children? Should they be allowed to retain their marriage licenses? Sure seems by your reasoning they’re not helping society.

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  99. The cake baker merely provided pretty food for practicing gays who want to enter into legal entanglements. The hotel owner is actually renting the bed they will use for their honeymoon celebration. I’m waiting for Christians to vent in prophetic rage against hotel owners as well as the maids who clean their rooms.

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  100. There’s seems to be an unbiblical and unrealistic notion of how far we must/can separate ourselves from sin. How are we linked to sin?

    – Paying taxes (like we did to the Roman empire)
    – Investing – supporting unknown causes
    – Selling condoms – some of which will be used sinfully
    – Selling guns – some of which could be used sinfully
    – Being an administrator in a hospital (abortions? sex changes?)
    – Doing business (as a customer) with companies who could use their profits for various sinful things
    – Running a motel knowing there will be sinful activity
    – Selling table cloths – maybe for a gay wedding
    – Constructing a home for a gay couple
    – Constructing a home for unmarried heteros
    – Catering food – maybe for an activity of a false church
    – Providing paper for books – all kinds of possibilities
    – Building military weapons that may be unjustly used
    – Serving in a deeply flawed government like Daniel did

    The monastery is a flight from the Christian life. For those who have to live it, get used to a messy world.
    ___________

    18 But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.”

    19 “Go in peace,” Elisha said.

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  101. TVD
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Zrim
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink
    Tom, then you wouldn’t do very well on “The Roman Catholic Church and Birth Control” (for $600, Alex).

    In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued his landmark encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (Latin, “Human Life”), which reemphasized the Church’s constant teaching that it is always intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent new human beings from coming into existence.

    Contraception is “any action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act [sexual intercourse], or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” (Humanae Vitae 14). This includes sterilization, condoms and other barrier methods, spermicides, coitus interruptus (withdrawal method), the Pill, and all other such methods.

    So the more relevant example isn’t abortifacients but contraception. While (some) Prots and (some) Cats agree that life begins at conception, evidently (some) Cats think it begins even before that. But the point is that while family and not religious liberty is the cornerstone, there’s more to society than kids. What about married heteros who don’t have children? Should they be allowed to retain their marriage licenses? Sure seems by your reasoning they’re not helping society.

    The more relevant example is abortifacients, because it’s reality.

    http://www.tldm.org/News11/NewJerseyLawRejectsConscientiousObjection.htm

    Neither did you answer my argument in the slightest, so this is really getting annoying.

    Natural rights are not luxuries, they are essential, they are unalienable. Neither is the “public” my master. I do not “serve” the public. I am not an agent of the state. Once again, the premises are all false.

    As for childless married heteros, there are exceptions to every rule that can upend any discussion, in this case, that centuries later, the infertility protection for women in marriage means we must institute gay marriage for couple who by nature will never reproduce.

    Do you have a point?

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  102. Kevin in Newark
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink
    Tvd-

    “I’d be very comfortable arguing that the Protestant countries have done far better than the Catholic ones. The worst EU economies–PIIGS [Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain]–are all Catholic. The Catholic countries, for better or worse, have historically been more communitarian, which has translated into a bigger public sector and less dynamic private business economies.”

    The key counter-case is West Germany (1948-1991). Majority Catholic, but more importantly led by largely Catholic party, the Christian Democratic Union. Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Finance Minister Ludwig Erhard (Lutheran, I think) created the so-called German Economic Miracle through sound economics based in Catholic Social Teachings.

    Except that Germany was an economic powerhouse before Hitler and the East/West split, and is now again.

    As for Brazil, it’s still not a first world country, with a GDP per capita down around 75th, about the same as Iran. The lowest ranked “Protestant” country is around 30th.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

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  103. All-

    SDB, the Cowen article brings to my mind what I’d mentioned on the worldview thread (thanks for your thoughtful reply, apologies for not having time to respond). The reply below is really to the group, though.

    Latin America cannot be understood without understanding the US’s role in it. From even before the Monroe Doctrine, this role has been determined by our Capitalistic system.

    Capitalism (rightly defined) is “state-sponsored usury.” (Disclaimer: I am not, nor have ever been, a Marxist).

    That is to say, an individual advocating a Capitalist worldview is advocating a “plutocratic” society in which the government functions to protect:

    a) the interests of those who control the wealth of that society, at the expense of those who possess no wealth beyond their own labor;and further

    b) the ability of the plutocrats to do whatever they can get away with without endangering the short-term stability of the state.

    Our American Way of Life rests on a theft of “third world” labor– 2 examples:
    1) Hanes got Obama to pressure the Haitian government to set the minimum wage for garment workers at $0.31 per hour – a special concession, below the $.61 per hour standard. http://www.businessinsider.com/wikileaks-haiti-minimum-wage-the-nation-2011-6

    2) Nafta has been a disaster for Mexico and boon for US corps seeking cheap factory labor there:
    Nafta has cut a path of destruction through Mexico. Since the agreement went into force in 1994, the country’s annual per capita growth flat-lined to an average of just 1.2 percent — one of the lowest in the hemisphere. Its real wage has declined and unemployment is up.

    As heavily subsidized U.S. corn and other staples poured into Mexico, producer prices dropped and small farmers found themselves unable to make a living. Some two million have been forced to leave their farms. – NY Times opinion piece, Nov 24, 2013

    Time to Descend the High Horse: It seems to me terrifically self-centered and arrogant to then point to these countries as failures, betrayed as they have been by their own governments to international business interests (the support of which is the raison d’etre of our government) so that we might live cushy lives. We bully them.

    In the cases of Mexico, Columbia, and Trinidad, the bulk of problems in the country (how’s that for clear social impact of “private behavior” -?) stem from insatiable US demand for drugs.

    Sense of history, please: Further, how does projected -1% growth in a single year invalidate the obvious well-being on a mass scale Brazil has generated over generations, while basically refraining from the institutionalization of nefarious activities we Americans at times lament but take for granted in our own government?

    You might also consider source and context – the Economist editorial board and readership have an interest in seeing Brazil accommodate Anglo-American economic policies (they want to invest their strong dollars in other economies and see quick growth). They do not care at all about what is in Brazil’s best interest on-the-ground- which at times an official contraction can be.

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  104. TVD-

    kc – Except that Germany was an economic powerhouse before Hitler and the East/West split, and is now again.

    tvd – As for Brazil, it’s still not a first world country, with a GDP per capita down around 75th, about the same as Iran. The lowest ranked “Protestant” country is around 30th.

    True on the first point – but to jump to a defining event in German identity, Bismarck eventually gave up his Kulturkampf at the urging of Bishop von Ketteler (ending German emigration to the US, Brazil, etc.). I think his motivation was not fundamentally religious (Protestant), just a desire to conserve traditional Prussian social order which encountered difficulties following Prussia’s post-Napoleonic expansion.

    When he saw that wasn’t going to work and that he would have to accommodate Catholics (which included maintaining, reinforcing, and adapting the Catholic economic structures in the newly conquered lands, above all the Rhineland), I don’t see how his policies or the German Empire can be described as Protestant. Indeed, I think Kaiser Wilhelm was, on the whole, an admirable ruler.

    Prussia may have been Protestant, but I don’t think “Germany” ever really has been. But you didn’t mention Germany; I’ll grant you Norway and Sweden – peaceful countries with lots of books and medium-sized families.

    But is GDP per capita (PPP) really the best measure of economic success? I’d rather start with median family income and assets (PPP).

    I also think one really has to consider selected ‘quality-of-life’ factors – is the population above replacement rate? Can you walk to work? Do people practice a religion? How many cafes are there per capita? How long is the typical vacation and do people go to Italy at every opportunity?

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  105. TVD-

    Well sure, I wouldn’t gloss over the problems, even Brazil’s birth rate is way down. The West is in Decline, etc.

    Just found this (for what it’s worth):

    Median Net Worth (2011, Credit Suisse)

    1. Australia >$200k
    2. Italy $150k-$200k
    3. Japan $150k-$200k
    4. UK $150k-$200k
    5. Switzerland $100k-$150k
    6. Ireland $100k-$150k
    7. France $75k-$100k
    8. Canada $75k-$100k
    9. Norway $75k-$100k
    10. Finland $75k-$100k
    11. Spain $50k-$75k
    12. New Zealand $50k-$75k
    13. Netherlands $50k-$75k
    14. Israel $50k-$75k
    15-16. China & Taiwan $50k-$75k
    17. Germany $50k-$75k
    18. US $50k-$75k
    19. Sweden $0-$50k
    20. Denmark $0-$50k

    By my count:
    Catholic: 4 (Italy, Ireland, France, Spain)
    Protestant: 7 (Australia, UK, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark)
    Mixed: 5 (Switzerland, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, US)
    Other: 4 (Japan, Israel, China, Taiwan)

    “It is mind boggling that median Australian net wealth per adult is
    four times that of the U.S., and Italy is three times as high.

    Ireland and Spain, meanwhile, are also higher despite having housing
    busts similar to that in the United States. What is going on here?”

    In short, poor people and debt.

    Next step might be to check populations. But what are we trying to
    prove? Something about individuals or government policy?

    http://www.middleclasspoliticaleconomist.com/2012/07/us-trails-at-least-15-oecd-countries-in.html

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  106. Next step might be to check populations. But what are we trying to
    prove? Something about individuals or government policy?

    http://www.middleclasspoliticaleconomist.com/2012/07/us-trails-at-least-15-oecd-countries-in.html

    Well, start with PIIGS, where I did. The Catholic countries are the weaker sisters, and that’s the first world. Then look at the second and third worlds, like Latin America and the Philippines, and they quite suck.

    Now, the correlation is probably stronger for proximity to the tropics, as I noted previously. The closer to the equator, the more you tend to suck.

    FTR, I’m not a big fan of the way the OECD jiggles its figures, which is to make the socialist eurostates always look better than the USA. Now that the OECD countries are circling the bowl, there’s not so much bragging from the eurowienies.

    [And let’s remember they’d all be speaking German or Russian but for the Pax Americana, the smug parasites.]

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  107. @Kevin Your definition of capitalism is highly idiosyncratic to say the least.

    But what are we trying to prove?

    I realize you were asking Tom, but I’ll answer for myself anyway. First two observations:
    1) Roman Catholic adherence in a country does not correlate with material or economic success
    2) Roman Catholic adherence in a country is anti-correlated with some moral views
    3) Roman Catholic adherence is in decline in many former strongholds according to sampling. The UN and Pew numbers are are about 10pts lower than the RCC’s numbers – largely of how they count those who convert to other religions (generally they don’t).

    From this I conclude that any sort of RC triumphalism (e.g., Brazil’s success is a Catholic success) is misplaced. I do not conclude from these observations that the RCC is therefore false or that the protestant revolt is therefore justified. There are of course similar problems with the old protestant work ethic thesis which is analogous to the claims you are making for the RCC. It seems to me that reality is far more complicated than stabs at monocausal explanations for our current state of affairs allow.

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  108. Muddy Gravel: “Go in peace,” Elisha said.

    Notice that he does not ask Elisha’s sanction to his intended compromise, but simply announces his intention, and hopes for forgiveness. It looks ill when a man, in the first fervour of adopting a new faith, is casting about for ways to reconcile it with the public profession of his old abandoned one. We should have thought better of Naaman’s monotheism, if he had not coupled his avowal of it, where it was safe to be honest, with the announcement that he did not intend to stand by his avowal when it was risky. It would have required huge courage to have gone back to Damascus and denied Rimmon; and our censure must be lenient, but decided.Naaman was the first preacher of a doctrine of compromise, which has found eminent defenders and practisers, in our own and other times. To separate the official from the man, and to allow the one to profess in public a creed which the other disavows in private, is rank immorality, whoever does or advocates it. The motive in this case was, perhaps, not so much cowardice as selfish unwillingness to forfeit position and favour at court. He wants to keep all the good things he has got; and he tries to blind his conscience by representing the small compliance of bowing as almost forced on him by the grasp of the bowing king, who leaned on his hand. But was it necessary that he should be the king’s favourite? A deeper faith would have said, ‘Perish court favour and everything that hinders me from making known whose I am.’ But Naaman is an early example of the family of ‘Facing-both-ways,’ and of trying to ‘make the best of both worlds.’ But his sophistication of conscience will not do, and his own dissatisfaction with his excuse peeps out plainly in his petition that he may be forgiven. If his act needed forgiveness, it should not have been done, nor thus calmly announced. It is vain to ask forgiveness beforehand for known sin about to be committed.Elisha is not asked for his sanction, and he neither gives nor refuses it. He dismissed Naaman with cold dignity, in the ordinary conventional form of leave-taking. His silence indicated at least the absence of hearty approval, and probably he was silent to Naaman because, as he said about the Shunemite’s trouble, the Lord had been silent to him, and he had no authoritative decision to give. Let us hope that Naaman’s faith grew and stiffened before the time of trial came, and that he did not lie to God in the house of Rimmon. Let us take the warning that we are to publish on the housetops what we hear in the ear, and that, if in anything we should be punctiliously sincere, it is in the profession of our faith. MacLaren

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  109. and

    But, as to us, I am sure, (1.) If, in covenanting with God, we make a reservation for any known sin, which we will continue to indulge ourselves in, that reservation is a defeasance of his covenant. We must cast away all our transgressions and not except any house of Rimmon. (2.) Though we are encouraged to pray for the remission of the sins we have committed, yet, if we ask for a dispensation to go on in any sin for the future, we mock God, and deceive ourselves. (3.) Those that know not how to quit a place at court when they cannot keep it without sinning against God, and wronging their consciences, do not rightly value the divine favour. (4.) Those that truly hate evil will make conscience of abstaining from all appearances of evil. Though Naaman’s dissembling his religion cannot be approved, yet because his promise to offer no sacrifice to any god but the God of Israel only was a great point gained with a Syrian, and because, by asking pardon in this matter, he showed such a degree of conviction and ingenuousness as gave hopes of improvement, the prophet took fair leave of him, and bade him Go in peace,. Young converts must be tenderly dealt with. Matthew Henry

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  110. and

    Elisha’s permission must not be misunderstood. He did but hand over this semi-heathen convert to the grace of God….The bowing in the house of Rimmon under such conditions probably seemed to him no more than an act of outward respect to the king and to the national religion in a case where no evil results could follow from Naaman’s example. But the general principle that we must not bow in the house of Rimmon remains unchanged. The light and knowledge vouchsafed to us far transcend those which existed in times when men had not seen the days of the Son of Man. The only rule which sincere Christians can follow is to have no truce with Canaan, no halting between two opinions, no tampering, no compliance, no connivance, no complicity with evil, even no tolerance of evil as far as their own conduct is concerned. No good man, in the light of the Gospel dispensation, could condone himself in seeming to sanction-still less in doing-anything which in his opinion ought not to be done, or in saying anything which implied his own acquiescence in things which he knows to be evil. Expositor’s Bible Commentary

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  111. @a.
    Buy a paragraph break. Maybe even a block quote.

    Your expositor seems to think that Elisha wishing Naaman “shalom” was not meant to acquiesce to Naaman’s request. That is a particularly convoluted reading of the text. Your source goes on to say “…no tampering, no compliance, no connivance, no complicity with evil…” and yet Paul tells us that financially supporting idolatry by buying meat offered to idols is not necessarily sinful… Good thing we have you to correct Elisha and Paul.

    Maybe that whole liberty of conscience thing is overrated? Or maybe things that are sinful for one person aren’t sinful for another? Paul was just so like totally post-modern…

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  112. Good thing we have you to correct Elisha and Paul.

    Me? I gave no personal opinion

    I realize you would have preferred to let Muddy’s opinion stand alone unchallenged which if so would be hypocrisy, so maybe I’m reading you wrong?

    just sending 3 more opinions from respected saints and btw didn’t find another one who disagreed either; but you and Muddy can have whatever opinion you want. Just don’t add Paul to your side, as your one quote of him here is partial and incomplete of his whole instruction.

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  113. ps., no need for you to channel Muddy’s hostility. You seem civil otherwise generally in these conversations as far as I see.

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  114. @a.

    No hostility intended. Just pointing out your posts were tough to read. Wasn’t clear what was yours and what was quoted. I remain unconvinced. Not sure why you think I don’t want to see MG’s post challenged? I just don’t find the exegesis you quote compelling.

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  115. SDB-

    @Kevin Your definition of capitalism is highly idiosyncratic to say the least.
    Agreed it seems such to contemporary Americans. But I think it fits the data. We need to come to grips with the US economic system in order to address the obvious problems within it. Turning a blind eye is willfull ignorance (= negligence).

    “Free market economy” is often applied, but doesn’t really fit upon inspection. “Capitalism” is often applied; but the concept isn’t used with a clear definition. I am passing on a definition with a respectable history which I believe to be useful and accurate. The usual position today it to dismiss it since “Successful Americans don’t talk that way,” and in this country we certainly value apparent success as a proof.

    1) Roman Catholic adherence in a country does not correlate with material or economic success

    Disagree. I believe it does in the sense that a society formed over generations/centuries by the principles taught by the Church will generally experience material success (although is of course subject to disasters and foreign attack) – in short, as a result of justice between citizens and a sense of the ‘organic’ nature of society (c.f. Edmund Burke). If we narrow the temporal scope too much we lose the ability to understand what is of value. This may be a weaker formulation of the claim than you’re looking for, but it is all I am advocating – that the Church teaches good economics based on natural law – open to Protestants, Confucianists, etc. – and that it contrasts with other models (socialist, Capitalist, anarchosyndicalist) which are less successful.

    2) Roman Catholic adherence in a country is anti-correlated with some moral views

    Strong disagreement. “Adherence” entails sticking to teachings – Catholics must be orthodox and practicing to count as “adherent” if the term is to have useful meaning. CiNOs are not adherent, by the Church’s own standards. If you discover a correlation, what you’ve in fact discovered – by definition – is faithlessness.

    3) Roman Catholic adherence is in decline in many former strongholds.

    Absolutely it is. The Catholic Church is in freefall Mass attendance in France, Italy, etc. is abysmal; fewer than 1 in 3 French children are baptized. Haiti is on its way to being Protestant. Brazil may not be even nominally majority Catholic in a generation. Some Central American countries are already majority Protestant. Even Poland is starting to drop off in observance, just as Ireland did. All a symptom of post-VII foolishness.

    From this I conclude that any sort of RC triumphalism (e.g., Brazil’s success is a Catholic success) is misplaced.

    I reject being triumphalist. Also, what I said was “Brazil’s successes are Catholic successes” – pluralizing to indicate there are failures as well (indicated just above as relating to post-VII errors, i.e., ascribable to Catholics).

    There are of course similar problems with the old protestant work ethic thesis which is analogous to the claims you are making for the RCC. It seems to me that reality is far more complicated than stabs at monocausal explanations for our current state of affairs allow.

    I expect we agree substantially here; you may disagree, and either way may find my ‘worldview’ vexing.

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  116. Tom, who said the public was your master? Is this the same tick that makes you say citizens in republics are also the magistrates? So there’s no such thing as public servants? You say you’re not a radical libertarian but you sure sound like one, where there is little room for the individual sucking it up for the sake of society actually working. This is actually how things work in the real world.

    As for childless married heteros, there are exceptions to every rule that can upend any discussion, in this case, that centuries later, the infertility protection for women in marriage means we must institute gay marriage for couple who by nature will never reproduce.

    There’s always adoption, but some don’t even choose that. Should they be allowed to retain their licenses? The point? It’s that those with lofty ideals need to figure out how to live in the real world. The ideals of marriage and family have taken plenty of hits throughout history but society endures even so.

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  117. sdb, moralists will have a tough time presenting a plausible explanation of 2 Kings 5:18. But I think Leithart handles it pretty well:

    “Elisha gives permission to continue to fulfill this part of his service to the king of Aram….Elisha’s response is remarkable and shows something of God’s gentleness in dealing with believers in tricky moral and political circumstances. Elisha does not expect Naaman to abandon the world or withdraw into a ghetto where he can escape moral dilemmas and difficulties. As Paul says “let each one remain with God in that condition in which he was called” (I Cor. 7:20). If one can leave that condition, one should; but there is no sin in remaining in the condition in which one was called. There are clearly times when converts must must be exhorted to find a new place: a converted prostitute [for example]…But many Christians are zealots, insisting on far more “purity” than do Paul or Elisha – not to mention God.”

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  118. Zrim
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink
    Tom, who said the public was your master? Is this the same tick that makes you say citizens in republics are also the magistrates? So there’s no such thing as public servants? You say you’re not a radical libertarian but you sure sound like one, where there is little room for the individual sucking it up for the sake of society actually working. This is actually how things work in the real world.

    You don’t have to be a “radical libertarian” to know that the government forcing people to do stuff that violates their religious beliefs is seriously messed up.

    I see how we lost this battle.

    “As for childless married heteros, there are exceptions to every rule that can upend any discussion, in this case, that centuries later, the infertility protection for women in marriage means we must institute gay marriage for couple who by nature will never reproduce.”

    There’s always adoption, but some don’t even choose that. Should they be allowed to retain their licenses? The point? It’s that those with lofty ideals need to figure out how to live in the real world. The ideals of marriage and family have taken plenty of hits throughout history but society endures even so.

    The ideals of marriage and family are seriously on the ropes, and is a disaster for the children.. Where have you been?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/03/the-decline-of-marriage-and-the-rise-of-unwed-mothers-an-economic-mystery/274111/

    As for gay adoption, it’s now illegal for a [Christian] adoption service to prefer a child have a mother and a father instead of two of one or the other–although there are indications the former is best.

    As for your sneering at “lofty” ideals, the alternative has become to have no ideals atall. I don’t think your way is better, in fact I know it’s not.

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  119. Muddy, Zrim,

    Society is a partnership between its past members, its current members, and those who are to come. It gives us our jobs, our neighborhoods, our entertainments, our language, our support, our troubles. It is the field in which we practice justice and charity. We find in it our friends, our spouses, we raise our children in it. We have an obligation to it.

    I don’t propose that laws somehow replace morality, but they can foster it. We cannot eliminate the messiness, but we should strive for order.

    long-term immersion into the culture wars addles the brain.

    I say Christians are going into dangerous territory by saying businesses should be able to refuse anyone for any reason – you are defending the expansion of legal protections (statutory or judicial) for immoral behavior.

    and you ask a series of questions on lust, immorality, and pornography? Please point out anything I’ve said that makes your questions anything but a series of non sequiturs. – I say laws exist to foster justice, and sexual sin causes injustice.

    A hotel owner undoubtedly profits from illicit sex happening on beds that he provides. We all know it. Can a Christian own a hotel? – he should be able to reject guests who engage in immoral behavior on his property.

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  120. Kevin, you seen to not be able to resist imputing views to me. I suspect it is because I don’t do straight-line culture wars so you fill in the blanks with whatever the bad guys say. But if you want to explain it otherwise, I’m all ears.

    But I think there is a key difference between what you and I are doing. You are arguing for why things should be as they were in the past whereas I am recognizing that things have changed and that we need to deal with that reality. This has been a slow train coming from the SCOTUS since 2003 when anti-sodomy statutes were declared unconstitutional. Also, a number of states have had gays as a protected class for years, so it’s a little puzzling why everyone is so stunned and ill-prepared to think through these issues.

    So far, Kevin, you have hotel owners turning away those who may do immoral acts in their buildings. By extension, that would include people who rent apartments, yes?

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  121. Muddy, Zrim,

    long-term immersion into the culture wars addles the brain.

    Virtues are moral habits, vices are immoral habits. We become what we practice.

    1) If we practice being frantic about these issues, then we will become addled;
    2) If we approach in a strong, patient, organized, measured, manner, then that is what we become. We can effect change (or at least preservation of the good) without becoming “addled.”

    If you are interpreting my position #2 as not-my-position #1, then you are mistaken.

    My questions for you, then:

    a) I think your position is to habitually avoid finding common ground with those who advocate Catholic positions on anything. Correct?

    b) Do you advocate the development of a habit of mind which is aware of social problems and seeks to resolve them through appropriate means, which at times includes making or setting aside laws and judicial judgments?

    c) Do you agree that if we practice impotence, indifference, cowardice, or another blameworthy characteristic, e.g. if this is what motivates our not habitual non-engagement, that this then is what we become?

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  122. Mencken, courtesy of an OL tweet,

    Certainly the members of a social club should be perfectly free to exclude any person who doesn’t please them, and for the sole and simple reason that he doesn’t please them. They are under no obligation whatever to explain to him why they don’t like him, nor to apologize for being unable to acquire a taste for him.

    What about businesses that are social clubs?

    Furthermore, RSC on public and private. This seems very sympathetic with 2K also. The Bible doesn’t tell you who to enter into business dealings with, so people should be free to deal with who they want.

    A public accommodation cannot be any business (or other operation) that provides services to the public. On such a definition no business is really private property. If civil freedom is the relative absence of restraint, then when a business owner cannot decide whom she will serve then she is no longer free.

    If a business owner is no longer free to decide whom she will serve, if she must violate her conscience by photographing a homosexual wedding or baking cakes for a homosexual wedding, then all convictions have been privatized by judicial fiat. By privatized I mean that, as the court said, she’s allowed (for now) to think and say as she will but she’s not free to act according to her convictions. In that case citizens are no longer free.

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  123. Muddy,

    Just read your 4:27 post (I was writing my 4:30 post at the time).

    Kevin, you seen to not be able to resist imputing views to me. I suspect it is because I don’t do straight-line culture wars so you fill in the blanks with whatever the bad guys say. But if you want to explain it otherwise, I’m all ears.

    Just trying to understand- interpret, not impute. I try to be very straightforward, and when employing irony hope the meaning is clear.

    I truly don’t know what “bad guys” you are referring to, or how I would be making use of what they say. I don’t have any idea what you mean by “straight-line culture wars” – is it helpful to know I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio (aside from Calypso and Greek Rebetika from time to time)?

    So far, Kevin, you have hotel owners turning away those who may do immoral acts in their buildings. By extension, that would include people who rent apartments, yes?

    My wife and I own and manage 7 rental units, so this isn’t academic. Absolutely. File this post away at the NSA Utah data center, please.

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  124. Kevin, on this point you are neither Catholic nor Prot – you are simply a right wing culture warrior.

    The addling refers to a propensity to mimic the left by participating in a zero sum game in which each side adheres to an agenda, is very suspicious of anyone not on that agenda, and uses misleading soundbites to characterize positions and events; the cumulative effect is a loss of the ability or even interest in nuance that goes off script. Accurately representing the bad guys is not a concern, the desire to understand them withers, and the agenda is taken to be equivalent to the Christian ethic.

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  125. Walton, you are certainly free to prefer something that no longer exists and has not for some time now. But here’s the nuclear bomb: do you support the right of a business owner to put up a sign that says “We don’t serve blacks”? Or maybe “We don’t serve Christians”?

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  126. Kevin, much agreed actually. However, my point is that sometimes legislation just falls down and society simply has to muddle through, and what I don’t see from a large balance of Christians is the kind of sanity that grasps that. What i see is the kind of hand wringing that suggests they think legislation does more than help foster society, that it in fact creates and maintains it. Ironic because this is the same crowd that says civil powers do not in fact do so…

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  127. Muddy: moralists

    Muddy, Jesus had to die to save us from our ‘immorality ,so it’s hard to understand what you are saying when you denigrate ‘morality’ ?

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  128. Muddy,
    Absolutely. Everybody was fine with people discriminating against racists (think Donald Sterling). The NBA has the right to do business with whomever they want.

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  129. a, moralIST, related to moralISM. Think of what changes when you put “ism” at the end of a word.

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  130. Gee, Walton, I wonder why people (including blacks) would be antagonistic against someone who says it’s fine to deny them service. But here’s the deal: the magistrate disagrees with you. You lose. Submit to the magistrate in anything that does not require you to sin.

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  131. Muddy,

    Kevin, on this point you are neither Catholic nor Prot – you are simply a right wing culture warrior. – this is the first time anyone has called me “right wing.”

    The addling refers to a propensity

    I follow your point clearly, but I don’t think it at all characterizes me. I laid out the basis for my as:

    To approach in a strong, patient, organized, measured, manner; developing a habit of mind which is aware of social problems and seeks to resolve them through appropriate means; based upon a view of society as a partnership between its past members, its current members, and those who are to come.

    I don’t see how that indicates a narrow ideology, dishonesty (intent to mislead or mischaracterize), or addlement.

    But here’s the nuclear bomb: do you support the right of a business owner to put up a sign that says “We don’t serve blacks”? Or maybe “We don’t serve Christians”?

    I’m not presuming to speak for Walton, but that is not only not a bomb, it packs no punch at all. Those signs would be indicating a readiness to practice injustice (unjust discrimination) – if such a readiness were to be sufficiently widespread in society, I think a statutory remedy (reinforced judicially) would be appropriate.

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  132. Zrim,

    my point is that sometimes legislation just falls down and society simply has to muddle through, and what I don’t see from a large balance of Christians is the kind of sanity that grasps that. What i see is the kind of hand wringing that suggests they think legislation does more than help foster society, that it in fact creates and maintains it.

    It looks like we agree on the underlying principle, then.

    I think few things are more misguided than the idea that if you get all the laws right, all of society flows from it without hitch. It is related to the obsession with written constitutions in my mind – and we have adequate post-WWII examples of written docs imposed on society which fall flat.

    I still don’t see how you can think SSM isn’t a problem, though; unless you reject that SSM will result in further change of human behaviors.

    Kids imitate what they see on tv. I can imagine a teen show about two boys in love. I can imagine two young teenagers being confused and mistaking friendship for sexual attraction. This would be to strike at the very heart of human friendship.

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  133. Zrim
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink
    Tom, right, lofty ideals or none at all. Your fundie slip is showing.

    And you resent labels? Heal thyself.

    As for your sneering at my argument as ‘lofty’ ideals, that’s just a rhetorical trick. Your preference for “reality” is nothing more than knuckling under.

    Now shut up and bake me a cake.

    Muddy Gravel
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink
    Gee, Walton, I wonder why people (including blacks) would be antagonistic against someone who says it’s fine to deny them service.

    There you have it. Gay marriage = being black. This is how they won.

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  134. Tom,

    Gay marriage = being black. This is how they won.

    You’re probably right, but the law has consistently moved toward elevating sexual orientation and gender identity to the same protected status as race. Right or wrong, I don’t see anyone un-ringing that bell.

    When it comes to commerce, I don’t see how businesses licensed to practiced by the state can provide a defensible basis for discrimination. Muddy will know better than I would, but I doubt commerce is protected like speech or religion. Unless bakeries and wedding photographers want to operate as 501c3 religious non-profits, I don’t see how they can make the case that their business is religious in nature, since it is a) for profit, and b) regulated under commercial codes. It gets even stickier when interstate commerce is considered, because if one state allows discrimination and others do not, it will cause huge problems at the federal level.

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  135. they won…..

    now on to ….“Polygamy is about marriage equality,” Collier told the AP… Support for polygamy has increased from 5% in 2006 to 16% today according to Gallup…Today, arguments in favor of polygamy focus more on sexual autonomy and individual choice. Because the definition of marriage or the form of marriage has changed and we’re open to constitutional change, it’s inevitable for this to be contested,” http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/07/10/heres-why-people-are-arguing-over-whether-polygamy-is-the-next-gay-marriage-debate/

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  136. a period, gong. Jesus saved us from our morality, as in self-righteousness.

    Kevin, I never said SSM wasn’t a problem. I’ve been hinting that it is: homosexuality should not enjoy the sanction of marriage. Families aren’t much helped in fostering certain morals when other facets of larger society foster the opposite. But, and here’s my point again, that’s always been the case. And one virtue I think worth instilling is in learning how to live in a society that doesn’t see it your way. That’s actually the crucible where character is made, not in the bubble where everyone is alike. I don’t think the culture warriors understand this one bit. Compromise has become a four-letter word, but it’s a virtue. Tom provides the example: “Your preference for “reality” is nothing more than knuckling under.” See, learning to live in the real world = cowardice. Fubar.

    Tom, resent labels? Huh?

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  137. Jed Paschall
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    “Gay marriage = being black. This is how they won.”

    You’re probably right, but the law has consistently moved toward elevating sexual orientation and gender identity to the same protected status as race. Right or wrong, I don’t see anyone un-ringing that bell.

    True, it’s moot. Which leaves only religious freedom.

    When it comes to commerce, I don’t see how businesses licensed to practiced by the state can provide a defensible basis for discrimination.

    Does an occupational license make you an agent of the state? Frankly, I don’t think these government clerks are going to get away with refusing to process gay marriage applications, but at what point does the state own everybody?

    “Discrimination” of course is a rhetorical winner. We use it solely in terms of race, and now of course with gay marriage, discrimination always = bad. Another way the war of words was lost.

    Muddy will know better than I would, but I doubt commerce is protected like speech or religion.

    The Hobby Lobby decision says this battle is not lost yet.

    Unless bakeries and wedding photographers want to operate as 501c3 religious non-profits, I don’t see how they can make the case that their business is religious in nature, since it is a) for profit, and b) regulated under commercial codes.

    How does that justify violating my First Amendment right of the free exercise of religion? Again, this is how the battle was lost.

    It gets even stickier when interstate commerce is considered, because if one state allows discrimination and others do not, it will cause huge problems at the federal level.

    This was actually where I thought gay marriage would win fair and square–although it was never argued. States give “full faith and credit” to marriages in other states, even between cousins or with 14-yr olds. I never saw how gay marriages wouldn’t slip in the same way.

    But as far as forcing a photographer to participate in a gay wedding, I’m hoping this last ditch can be defended.

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  138. Kevin, agreed on the potential negatives of SSM on our culture.

    Having said that, you’re wasting your time. You’re fighting a battle that has been decisively lost. The government values open access to commerce and it makes the laws. So rather than argue as if we can go back to a pre-civil rights era in which businesses can choose whom to serve, shouldn’t you be concentrating on your ethical duty to submit to the magistrate, and sorting out when you will have to say “I must obey God rather than man?” It seems your propensity is to narrowly define the former and broadly define the latter.

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  139. Zrim: a period, gong. Jesus saved us from our morality, as in self-righteousness.

    Zrim – amen; yet morality-bashing talk can get confusion, can’t it – in the ‘it’s all about me’ – Jesus dies.. I do whatever I want. If one thinks we’re ‘saved from morality’ they won’t like the kingdom to come much

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  140. Zrim
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink
    a period, gong. Jesus saved us from our morality, as in self-righteousness.

    Kevin, I never said SSM wasn’t a problem. I’ve been hinting that it is: homosexuality should not enjoy the sanction of marriage. Families aren’t much helped in fostering certain morals when other facets of larger society foster the opposite. But, and here’s my point again, that’s always been the case. And one virtue I think worth instilling is in learning how to live in a society that doesn’t see it your way. That’s actually the crucible where character is made, not in the bubble where everyone is alike. I don’t think the culture warriors understand this one bit. Compromise has become a four-letter word, but it’s a virtue. Tom provides the example: “Your preference for “reality” is nothing more than knuckling under.” See, learning to live in the real world = cowardice. Fubar.

    Tom, resent labels? Huh?

    You called me a fundie. [As if.]

    And yes, knuckling under to the real world certainly is cowardice. What else would it be?

    This is how the battle was lost, good men doing nothing, letting the Falwells and Palins take all the flak–and not just lamely sitting on the sidelines, but throwing a few rocks yourselves.

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

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  141. Jed, there is an ongoing argument among federal court judges as to whether having a corporation strips the business owners of rights they would have as individuals. The Tenth Circuit held that Hobby Lobby could be protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act notwithstanding that it is a for-profit corporation, so there’s that. But in general I think you correctly say that you pay a price when you enter into commerce, and that price includes compliance with civil rights laws.

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  142. Muddy,
    I also said people can discriminate against me. And they have every right to be antagonistic towards anyone. Or are you saying it’s only okay to discriminate against meanies?

    I am submitting. But I am also disagreeing that the government has the authority to say who you can refuse business to. Here’s Ron Paul on whataburger’s new gun policy.

    So, it is strange that I am asking you this, because you seem like the morality imposer here, but by what standard do you determine what can and cannot be discriminated against?

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  143. Jed, I do think people will have a hard time saying their business is religious in nature. That’s another problem with RFRA and the like. It conveys the idea that the government has authority over everything except religion. It doesn’t have to be religious for you to have personal freedom to do what you want. It just has to be yours.

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  144. Walton, this is one of the things I’m trying to emphasize: it doesn’t matter what I think. It is a constitutional right for homosexuals to marry and a number of states – including mine – also have civil rights statutes that include gays. I didn’t make the laws and I don’t enforce them. Armchair magistrates aren’t terribly helpful in this situation. Do you remember what Paul told Titus? “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities.” Well, are our pastors doing this? It seems like Christians have become magistrate wannabes.

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  145. Muddy Gravel
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
    Walton, this is one of the things I’m trying to emphasize: it doesn’t matter what I think. It is a constitutional right for homosexuals to marry and a number of states – including mine – also have civil rights statutes that include gays. I didn’t make the laws and I don’t enforce them. Armchair magistrates aren’t terribly helpful in this situation. Do you remember what Paul told Titus? “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities.”

    Moral imbecility. What if the ruler requires you to build altars to false gods? To beat another slave to death? Perform abortions? Participate in celebrating sham “marriages?”

    Further, we are not subjects or slaves, we are not “ruled” as were the Christians of the first century CE. Under our system of government, we are free men, with unalienable rights. The government is not our master, neither are we servants of the “public,” whatever that is.

    More muddy thinking, the bankrupt kind that Frederick Douglass spoke of when the Presbyterians cravenly surrendered to slavery.

    When the Presbyterian assembly was called on a few years ago, to say that slavery is a sin against God, it was voted by the Assembly, that it is inexpedient to take action on the subject, and as soon as that was done, Dr. Cox jumped up and clapped his hands, and thanked God that their Vesuvius was capped; and having got rid of slavery, they all engaged in prayer; while the poor heart-broken slave was lifting up his hands to them, and clanking his chains and imploring them in the name of God to aid him; and their reply was, it is inexpedient for us to do so: and Dr. Cox clapped his hands and thanked God that the Vesuvius was capped; that is, that the question of slavery is got rid of.

    http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1083.htm

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  146. Maybe Christian America ended when American broke the “City on a Hill “one way covenant with God.”

    Winthrop;;Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles. We have professed to enterprise these and those accounts, upon these and those ends. We have hereupon besought Him of favor and blessing. Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant and sealed our commission, and will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, and be revenged of such a people, and make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant. http://americanvision.org/11199/carl-truemans-total-surrender-exile-theologians/

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  147. Muddy,

    You’re right. And so is Paul. We need to be reminded of that.

    So what do we do with our political views?

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  148. TVD,
    I think Muddy already covered those things in emphasizing the importance of “sorting out when you will have to say I must obey God rather than man”

    But I’m totally with you on the so-called “radical” libertarianism.

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  149. Walton, it seems to me that we all have political views and we are free as citizens to get politically involved to promote them. There are limits and there are pitfalls in so doing – we need to be always aware of them. But I wonder what happened to the idea of submission to the will of God as he raises up rulers who might be good or wicked, wise or foolish. I can’t read the New Testament and think that its writers or actors assumed governments will reflect the moral law of God and that we are called to revolution if they do not.

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  150. Mud, ain’t nobody talking revolution. At least I’m not.
    But when the takeaway is if you are an adoption agency and the great god Caesar has said homosexuals can lawfully adopt children and the moral consensus here from the in group (?) seems to be ‘hey man up and obey or find something else to do for a living’, we begins to wonder.

    Since when has Caesar been the bottom line for the last word on slavery or killing Jews or babies, never mind blessing an egregious violation of the natural law by assuming sodomites and lesbians can get married? Can we say Erastianism? Compromise? Confused? Sure we can.

    Frankly I don’t really care what the S&L crowd want to do. If they want to believe in little green men from Mars, that is their business per se. But when I have to believe in little green men at the point of a gun wielded by the civil magistrate, then there’s a war on reality going on, never mind culture, Christianity or what “the lawyers say” about the constitution.

    If you don’t understand what mass hysteria/stupidity/idiocy is; a moral version of the Tulip mania, our very own Twitter take on the Red Guard or a social media witch hunt, you are not competent to the question. (Likewise distinguishing between groceries and communion wafers/wedding cakes.)

    The S&L bunch already got a civil right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and have had for some time. What they want now is not only a special right to pervert a creation/natural law ordinance that applies to everybody, but also the promotion of their version over anybody else’s to the front of the line. Frankly, I don’t think the Big Lie for 1-3% of the country is necessarily a done deal or slam dunk. Maybe, maybe not. But we are called to go down gambling on the truth regardless.

    FTM if trannies are the next in line for secular sainthood, the firestorm that greeted anybody who thought Bruce Jenner was one sad and sick puppie, just might provoke a further reaction to the stupid and unconstitutional over reach that we now have with the S&L. (And the Confederate flag. Do we really think these proven and despicable hypocrites in govt. and the media wouldn’t shoot on sight anybody burning the rainbow flag, gun control notwithstanding?)

    IOW the bad bad Religious Right are not the only clowns who believe in and worship at the altar of transformationalism. Neither do 2k Christians have to kiss the foot that kicks them in quite the obsequious fashion some here seem to be urging.
    ciao

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  151. Bob, you are angrier than I am – you win. I’m glad someone has shown their Christian bona fides by speaking out against trannies. A true pioneer you are.

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  152. Bob S
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    There’s a war on reality going on, never mind culture, Christianity or what “the lawyers say” about the constitution.

    Dude. All of what you wrote, but esp this. You’re on a roll.

    Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Does that include the definition of reality? Romans 13 = The Emperor’s New Clothes?

    Mud, ain’t nobody talking revolution. At least I’m not.
    But when the takeaway is if you are an adoption agency and the great god Caesar has said homosexuals can lawfully adopt children and the moral consensus here from the in group (?) seems to be ‘hey man up and obey or find something else to do for a living’, we begins to wonder.

    Since when has Caesar been the bottom line for the last word on slavery or killing Jews or babies, never mind blessing an egregious violation of the natural law by assuming sodomites and lesbians can get married? Can we say Erastianism? Compromise? Confused? Sure we can.

    Frankly I don’t really care what the S&L crowd want to do. If they want to believe in little green men from Mars, that is their business per se. But when I have to believe in little green men at the point of a gun wielded by the civil magistrate, then there’s a war on reality going on, never mind culture, Christianity or what “the lawyers say” about the constitution.

    If you don’t understand what mass hysteria/stupidity/idiocy is; a moral version of the Tulip mania, our very own Twitter take on the Red Guard or a social media witch hunt, you are not competent to the question. (Likewise distinguishing between groceries and communion wafers/wedding cakes.)

    The S&L bunch already got a civil right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and have had for some time. What they want now is not only a special right to pervert a creation/natural law ordinance that applies to everybody, but also the promotion of their version over anybody else’s to the front of the line. Frankly, I don’t think the Big Lie for 1-3% of the country is necessarily a done deal or slam dunk. Maybe, maybe not. But we are called to go down gambling on the truth regardless.

    FTM if trannies are the next in line for secular sainthood, the firestorm that greeted anybody who thought Bruce Jenner was one sad and sick puppie, just might provoke a further reaction to the stupid and unconstitutional over reach that we now have with the S&L. (And the Confederate flag. Do we really think these proven and despicable hypocrites in govt. and the media wouldn’t shoot on sight anybody burning the rainbow flag, gun control notwithstanding?)

    IOW the bad bad Religious Right are not the only clowns who believe in and worship at the altar of transformationalism. Neither do 2k Christians have to kiss the foot that kicks them in quite the obsequious fashion some here seem to be urging.
    ciao

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  153. Mark Mcculley
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink
    Maybe Christian America ended when American broke the “City on a Hill “one way covenant with God.”

    MarkMc, I agree with this completely. As Mr. Lincoln said,

    “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

    Man is often confused–and even more often, he lies to his own mind and own heart about what God’s will might be [as in slavery and Jim Crow]–but Justice Kennedy has just abolished theology and even philosophy in public life. Our new god is “liberty,” whoever that might be.

    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.

    And while he’s at it, why not some BS perjoratives [‘disparage’, ‘diminish’] and new age gobbledygook [‘choices’ and most absurd of all, ‘personhood’]

    Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.

    Plus ‘deny’ only works if you assume the conclusion, that gay marriage is a ‘right.’

    No wonder they won. Every key word is a distortion or a lie.

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  154. Huh?
    Angry?
    What are you talking about, Mud?
    I think the whole argument being promoted such as I understand it here is ridiculous/sad/pathetic.
    Likewise re. the former Olympic champ.
    That’s all.

    Of course in some circles that still qualifies as hate speech, but I didn’t think we were there yet here. Obviously I am behind some kind of curve.

    Anyway an interesting article Administrative “Law” and the Tyranny of “Tolerance”.
    Fine print: Your mileage MAY vary all other things being EeQull

    cheers

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  155. Muddy- what Bob S said.

    Zrim- I guess we agree, then, but I don’t think I could have been expected to know this from your prior comments on the subject.

    Tvd- we have the Goddess of Liberty on NJ soil in NY harbor. She can be worshipped in person from Jersey City, or in passing from the NJ Turnpike or Staten Island Ferry. The US Bishops were not impressed at time of installation, I believe.

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  156. Kevin in Newark
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Tvd- we have the Goddess of Liberty on NJ soil in NY harbor. She can be worshipped in person from Jersey City, or in passing from the NJ Turnpike or Staten Island Ferry. The US Bishops were not impressed at time of installation, I believe.

    To the American Founders, who believed in a natural law, “liberty” meant the freedom to do the right thing. Now, it’s the freedom to do the other.

    Not that I care who performs sex on whom, but when they use the power of the government to drag us and the children into their moral cesspool, that’s not right, and I think we should stand up and say something.

    Your Romans 13 mileage may vary, but with rare exceptions I think it’s just a rationalization for gutlessness.

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  157. Bob, too bad because I thought you were on to something. I’m thinking of a church sign “Be Ye Transformed, Not Be Ye Trannies.”

    With that I’ll just wait for a blog article warning about people like me. “2ks For Trannies” maybe.

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  158. When an authority commands unjustly, the commands are illegitimate (contrary to God’s law) and he need or must not be obeyed. Insofar as the authority requires immorality, he loses that authority.

    Edited from a posted over at Rorate Caeli:

    “Human law is law inasmuch as it is in conformity with right reason and thus derives from the eternal law. But when a law is contrary to reason or , it is called an unjust law; but in this case it ceases to be a law and becomes instead an act of violence.” (Thomas A.)

    “If the laws of the State are manifestly at variance with the divine law […] then, truly, to resist becomes a positive duty, to obey, a crime; a crime, moreover, combined with misdemeanor against the State itself, inasmuch as every offense leveled against religion is also a sin against the State.

    Here anew it becomes evident how unjust is the reproach of sedition; for the obedience due to rulers and legislators is not refused, but there is a deviation from their will in those precepts only which they have no power to enjoin. (Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Sapientiae Christianae, n. 10)

    The one only reason which men have for not obeying is when anything is demanded of them which is openly repugnant to the natural or the divine law, for it is equally unlawful to command to do anything in which the law of nature or the will of God is violated.

    If, therefore, it should happen to anyone to be compelled to prefer one or the other, viz., to disregard either the commands of God or those of rulers, he must obey Jesus Christ, who commands us to “give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” and must reply courageously after the example of the Apostles: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

    And yet there is no reason why those who so behave themselves should be accused of refusing obedience; for, if the will of rulers is opposed to the will and the laws of God, they themselves exceed the bounds of their own power and pervert justice; nor can their authority then be valid, which, when there is no justice, is null.” (Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Diuturnum Illud, n. 15)

    “Church cannot stand by silent or idle, while a people is destroying itself by lawlessness, even if the lawlessness be clothed in the garment of the highest judicial authority.” – Cardinal Burke in Ireland, July 5th 2015

    “The law of the land is the law of the land,” says Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl. “We certainly follow what the law says. That doesn’t mean we change the word of God. That doesn’t mean we change the scriptures, or the church’s millennia-long tradition of what marriage is.”

    And for the wedge-drivers, while Wuerl’s words are softer than some of those previously quoted, it’s not like he is departing from Catholic tradition – he is simply not (here) addressing the the points made above about the illegitimacy of unjust commands and potential resulting forfeiture of authority.

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  159. Kevin, I’m not so sure you needed to do all that to establish “We must obey God rather than men.”

    But in what sense is SSM requiring Kevin to sin?

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  160. My earlier comment was based on ” Insofar as the authority requires immorality, he loses that authority.” But you went much further than that. Still, let’s start with that initial question: “how does the legalization of SSM coerce Kevin to sin?”

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  161. Kevin, in your heart of hearts, you’d like to see the state submitting to the Catholic church. Admit or deny?

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  162. TVD:when they use the power of the government to drag the children into their moral cesspool, that’s not right, and I think we should stand up and say something.

    Religious liberty is no longer just a concern we face in our churches or businesses—it’s quickly becoming an issue that affects us in our homes. Increasingly, our desire to bring up our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4) will conflict with the state’s desire to increase individual and sexual autonomy.
    http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/oregon-allows-15-year-olds-to-get-state-subsidized-sex-change-operationswithout-parental-consent

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  163. How is the Statue of Liberty not an idol to a false god?

    It is based on a (minor) pagan goddess Libertas, which appeared on ancient Roman coinage.

    What are the minimum conditions for America’s treatment of it to qualify as false worship? I.e., if we’re not there already, what more would need to be done?

    The Statue was given “consecration” by the NY State Masonic Lodge (following a ‘tradition’ going back to Washington’s Masonic consecration of the US Capitol).

    ‘The cornerstone being found square, level and plumb, the Grand Master applied the mortar and had the stone lowered into place. He then struck the stone three times, and declared it duly laid. Then the elements of consecration were presented, corn, wine, and oil.’

    The Statue’s cornerstone contains articles a sociologist could argue indicate a civil religion and its spread in politics and the media:

    A copy of the United States Constitution; George Washington’s Farewell Address; the Constitution and Statutes of the NY Lodge; twenty bronze medals of Presidents up through Chester A. Arthur (including Washington, Monroe, Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, Johnson and Garfield, who were all Freemasons); copies of New York City newspapers; a portrait of Bartholdi; poetry and song (“Liberty Enlightening the World,” “Poem on Liberty,” “Song of Liberty”); and a list on parchment of the Grand Lodge officers.

    The Anglican/Episcopal Bishop blessed the statue.

    Catholic Archbishop Corrigan of NY (born in Newark) and McQuaid of Buffalo did not, and were critical – can’t find the quotes at the moment.

    The ceremony is detailed in the 1885 Proceedings of the NY State Lodge on google books: https://books.google.com/books?id=_1ZLAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA50

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  164. “How is the Statue of Liberty not an idol to a false god?”

    Coming from a guy who venerates statues, this irony here is rich. We’re talking chocolate cake with chocolate chips with chocolate frosting, chocolate ice cream and chocolate fudge on top rich.

    But you want the President to have a dedicated Pope Phone, don’t you? Kevin? You want to say it. Say it.

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  165. Muddy-

    Come now, give me some credit for selecting words which will stimulate a reply.

    If public sources are to be believed (and the West Wing, if you like), the President has quite easy access to the Pope. This shouldn’t surprise. I do wish he’d use it for guidance.

    What I am interested in is your response to the questions I posed. Publius’s, too- where has he gone?

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  166. Kevin, I don’t actually see any recent questions of yours. I only see questions of mine left unanswered. So why don’t you answer then and I’ll check back in a couple hours?

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  167. Muddy –

    —Previously answered:
    MG: So far, Kevin, you have hotel owners turning away those who may do immoral acts in their buildings. By extension, that would include people who rent apartments, yes?
    kc: My wife and I own and manage 7 rental units, so this isn’t academic. Absolutely.

    MG: shouldn’t you be concentrating on your ethical duty to submit to the magistrate, and sorting out when you will have to say “I must obey God rather than man?”
    kc: Muddy- what Bob S said.

    —Current:
    kc: How is the Statue of Liberty not an idol to a false god? / What are the minimum conditions for America’s treatment of it to qualify as false worship? I.e., if we’re not there already, what more would need to be done?
    MG: [pending]

    MG: But in what sense is SSM requiring Kevin to sin? / how does the legalization of SSM coerce Kevin to sin?
    kc: If I am renting out an apartment, an SSM couple views it, and I deny them (because I don’t want that immoral behavior on my property, on grounds I would be facilitating sex outside of marriage and therefore cooperating with sin), even if I withheld my reasoning they could at least file for discrimination.

    Let’s say the court finds this very comment (perhaps checking with the NSA regarding my record) and uses it as evidence of my position. In NJ, I suspect I would lose this case and be liable for loads of cash in fines, plus lawyer fees, plus it would be time-consuming. Not far-fetched! The state would then compel me to facilitate sin.

    MG: Kevin, in your heart of hearts, you’d like to see the state submitting to the Catholic church. Admit or deny?
    kc: Not only in my heart of hearts, but in my speech, arguments, and comments on this blog. I have not been at all reticent on this point. It would be a great boon for all Americans to desire and acquire this.

    But that submission would need to come voluntarily, not be unjustly imposed, and not voted on by a bare majority (requiring state suppression of the large minority dissenting) – which is as likely to happen as a Supreme Court ruling or Senate invitation to the House of Wittelsbach of Bavaria to serve as ruling dynasty. Far-fetched.

    Did I miss any of your questions?

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  168. Kevin, do you rent to Moonies, hardened papists, people who only shop at IKEA, people who sell products made by slave labor, purveyors of high-fat fast food slung by underpaid people who have to work on Sunday? Asking for a fiend.

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  169. I sell a financial service that is required by the state and is necessary if someone wants to operate a car (and hence, in most places, hold a job), rent an apartment, or buy a home. Are you telling me that I should be turning gay-married people away? Where does the “good neighbor” thing come in?

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  170. And yes, knuckling under to the real world certainly is cowardice. What else would it be?

    It would be knowing how to live in an imperfect world. Like marriage, you know, the cornerstone of society where selves learn to swallow their pride and sacrifice self, etc., etc. What good is that if it never translates into living in broader society? But, TVD, you wanted our stance to be in marriage what you want it to be in society, I only see divorce. Oh, the irony.

    What if the ruler requires you to build altars to false gods? To beat another slave to death? Perform abortions?

    That’s not happening. Join the real world and quit drawing pictures that only make the already wound-up hysterical go completely bonkers.

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  171. Cw ille unificatorius –

    Kevin, do you rent to Moonies, hardened papists, people who only shop at IKEA, people who sell products made by slave labor, purveyors of high-fat fast food slung by underpaid people who have to work on Sunday? Asking for a fiend.

    I absolutely try to choose tenants based upon the good I perceive them to do in life, if that’s what you are getting at. There are various reasons – I’ll again raise my argument that virtues rise (& fall) together. Owner-managers of old multifamily houses in my neck of the woods cannot afford to not judge the moral characters of those they admit.

    A deadbeat tenant can easily get 6 months free rent if they take a landlord to housing court, or can neglect or damage the property in all sorts of ways.

    I would prefer to rent only to young Catholic families whose parents live in the neighborhood, but that’s not always an option. So I rent to apparently-trustworthy, good-natured, hard-working people of various backgrounds (even a few ex-suburbanites, I am loathe to admit; and further was chagrined to discover patronize the local Dunkin Donuts rather than the numerous family-owned cafes).

    I am very picky and feel a serious sense of responsibility in choosing tenants. The character of my neighborhood depends upon it. It’s a part of the messiness of life, and calls for prudence.

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  172. kc: How is the Statue of Liberty not an idol to a false god? / What are the minimum conditions for America’s treatment of it to qualify as false worship? I.e., if we’re not there already, what more would need to be done?

    MG: You are now officially in orbit.

    Kevin, if you were a Prot I guess you would be a theonomist. I find it difficult to talk with them because they want to talk about particular laws ad infinitum but it’s all a waste of time because I reject the initial premise that Mosaic laws are intended for us. Now you would have our country under the Pope with all that entails and your prescriptions are either consistent with that or divert from it only the extent that they must given our present situation.

    So I may get back to you but I’ll have to mull it over to find an approach that would entertain me.

    Meanwhile, I have to say I would prefer Obama’s America over Kevin’s America.

    .

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  173. They always seem so normal starting out of the gate then we end up with: I evict you in the name of the Lord – you filthy sinner.

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  174. Kevin, I think your occupation is a good example of the picking and choosing that should go on in business. Certainly you must do business with sinners, but there are certain sinners you would rather (or rather not) do business with. It doesn’t really seem to me that you’re denying their business on religious grounds, but on personal opinion which could be anywhere from very loosely to very closely linked to religion depending on the person and the issue.

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  175. Unificatorius, CW-

    What is this, violate the so-called Separation of Church and State and lose your right to be treated with respect?

    The even stronger case would be with medical workers – doctors, emergency room staff, etc. I think it’s clear denying medical care to those in need is unjust. Similarly with refusing to serve food. I don’t know your industry so can’t comment in detail.

    I am trying not to find your reference to my neighborhood as a “slum” offensive. I will pit my neighborhood and neighbors against yours on any criteria you like-

    local cultural amenities (social clubs, musical performances), park space (right across the street), river access (10 min walk), a large number of high quality restaurants, numerous cafes, trustworthy neighbors, grocery stores filled with imported products, parishes with parades and street festivals all summer long, etc. There is nothing I could want to buy that isn’t within walking distance (try me).

    It’s a trilingual neighborhood vast-majority European, and still markedly Catholic. Se voce querar apprendar falar portugues, nao existe um bairro melhor nos estados unidos- ambos as variedades da lengua de portugal e brasil.

    This is what America was like for a great many Americans until after WWII. It’s called civilization. The WASP elite killed it because it was a threat to big business, promiscuous warfare, and birth control.

    CT, why the third-person treatment? I’ve never evicted anyone in my life – and spend most of my weekends improving the properties (regularly weeknights as well). Margins are narrow- but it allows my wife to stay home with the baby, and when the mortgages are paid off in 12-14 years we’ll have college and retirement in hand. Plus something of value to pass on to my son.

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  176. Walton-

    I don’t disagree on this point – although I do disagree with you regarding race-based discrimination. If it were only a minor problem, racial discrimination wouldn’t be worth the trouble of the laws.

    But in our society it has been much more than that – I think certain anti-discrimination laws are for the best. Some of the legislation and judicial tradition has gotten out of hand, perhaps, but on the whole I think we’re muddling through the issue alright as a society.

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  177. Zrim
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink
    “And yes, knuckling under to the real world certainly is cowardice. What else would it be?”

    It would be knowing how to live in an imperfect world.

    The rationalization of all cowards, like the smug and useless Presbyterians who said and did nothing in the old South, who disgusted Frederick Douglass so, and rightfully.

    http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1083.htm

    Perhaps if more of the decent people in the South had spoken up, the Civil War mightn’t have happened. But that sort of thinking leaves the Turnips for Christ unmoved.

    What if the ruler requires you to build altars to false gods? To beat another slave to death? Perform abortions?

    That’s not happening. Join the real world and quit drawing pictures that only make the already wound-up hysterical go completely bonkers.

    I’m trying to find the point where you don’t make excuses for moral cowardice, if nay.

    Like marriage, you know, the cornerstone of society where selves learn to swallow their pride and sacrifice self, etc., etc. What good is that if it never translates into living in broader society? But, TVD, you wanted our stance to be in marriage what you want it to be in society, I only see divorce. Oh, the irony.

    You only see divorce because you’ve lost sight of the ideal, and mock it as “lofty.” But the reality is that the ideal represents the vast majority of successful families and non-screwed up kids. The natural law and Biblical morality are the same, and for good reason: They both come from God, and truth can not contradict truth.

    So I don’t buy your smug excuses for silence and inaction while your society and fellow man are ground up in the wheels of the sexual revolution. In fact, like Douglass, I’m disgusted.

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  178. Mud
    Get it right:

    Be Ye Not Transgendered, But Be Ye Transformed

    Rom. 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    That ought to get Madame DeFarge fired up and the tumbrils rolling.
    Got your ticket yet?
    You gonna be riding or rooting for the home homo team?

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  179. Kev, I never thought your were an actual slumlord. Help me understand the continuum: You who provide shelter can discriminate, but Doctor Evangelicus should sew up the gaping wound of Steve (whose husband is also named Steve). I sell insurance which might pay for the medical care of Steve (of Steve & Steve) or might allow him to drive a car and thus hold a job and buy and do all kinds of gay and non-gay stuff. What am I to do?

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  180. cw-

    Sorry if I was touchy – I’m defensive of working-class families and love my neighborhood. Reminds me of what the neighborhoods of my grandparents’ formative years were like in East St. Louis and North St. Louis (largely swamps and wastelands today).

    Regarding the ethics of insurance sales (my maternal grandfather sold life insurance), it seems to me you should provide the services you are mentioning. We live in a society where it is hard to imagine getting by without it. Different fields call for different decisions. For me, people can find another place to live if I don’t rent to them – no harm done to them.

    More importantly, it’s up to me to determine 30-35 individuals who have a real impact on my little corner of society- if I decided I only wanted to rent to SSM couples, believe me, I could market appropriately and do so. A whole gay bar could open just to serve my tenants. The neighbors would despise me- rightly.

    My tenants are the ones patronizing businesses and determining which succeed, going to neighborhood events (or not), looking out for intruders (v. being noisy street drunks), voting for the city councilmen who determine taxes and budget, raising families who attend the schools my own child will attend, and generally being good neighbors (or not).

    I determine whether to contribute toward preserving the Lusophone majority, contribute to the expanding Hispanic population, or admit “normal American” Anglophone suburbanites who go to Dunkin Donuts.

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  181. DGH: So what I wonder is whether Christian America ended in 1998. I also wonder why more Christians have not been outraged by a federal government that allows Oregon to persist in this law.

    AdD: There was a tremendous push back amongst the Northeastern chattering class to the First Things Symposium’s mere (timid and tentative, in my estimation) suggestion that civil disobedience and resistance would be a justified response to the Supreme Court’s rulings on abortion and euthanasia. In the almost 20 years since, I can’t recall any similar publication of any stature devoting so much ink to these options. As a Southerner who lived through the civil rights movement and participated in ant-Vietnam war protests, I am left to make a harsh judgment— if the culture war isn’t worth filling up the jails over, it isn’t worth spit. 1998 is as good a time to point to as any.

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  182. comments on the other thread are only accessible (at this moment) on pp 1-9, 12, 13, 16, 20. why? don’t know. overloaded…

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  183. Cw,

    It’s just the fact of my station in life. We all have a responsibility to do the best we can in our own spheres of influence. I could rent out my apartments to section 8 tenants on welfare if I wanted to. Or market to those relocating to the NYC metro from out of town. It’s up to me- since I have to decide, I have to try to decide rightly by my own lights.

    Same for you in your own sphere. Or a lawyer determining what cases to take on. Or a blog moderator deciding whether or not to permit open comments.

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  184. Waiting to see if Muddy Gravel & Zrim have their MSNBC talking points yet on how Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of aborted babies is nothing we should be concerned about.

    Someone please put Old Life out of it’s misery – 24/7 Catholic apologetics plus Presbyterian & Reformed men telling us how evil is no cause for concern.

    Never been worse.

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  185. And with the addition of Kevin the Catholics are coming off so much better of late that I’m about ready to convert.

    Pitiful.

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  186. And with the addition of Kevin the Catholics are coming off so much better of late that I’m about ready to convert.

    Pitiful.

    Indeed. K finally got around at last to actually stating the question instead of bloviating, while DonQuixoteinTx is still banging the drum about people being converted by apostolic preaching rather than apostolic words on paper. (So what?)

    Nobody including CVD seem to be able to comprehend that we don’t live in the apostolic era. (Duh.)

    Hence the preservation of the entire apostolic teaching in the inspired, sufficient and perspicuous NT Scripture as per the same (2 Tim. 3:17).

    Again Scripture either equips us to “every/all” good work in 2 Tim. 3:17 or it does nothing of the sort.

    Of course if you can define Scripture to include “Tradition” as Rome historically has done – or make Scripture teach the existence of an alternative authoritative tradition equal to it as the recent rash of romanists are doing here contra Rome’s historic position and without its imprimatur – then it’s all good.

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  187. Zrim
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Permalink
    Tom, go get ’em, tiger.

    Oh, well. Can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip. Not that I was trying, but I am a bit surprised at how militant the moral inertia is.

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  188. Bob S
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Permalink
    And with the addition of Kevin the Catholics are coming off so much better of late that I’m about ready to convert.

    Pitiful.

    Indeed. K finally got around at last to actually stating the question instead of bloviating, while DonQuixoteinTx is still banging the drum about people being converted by apostolic preaching rather than apostolic words on paper. (So what?)

    Nobody including CVD seem to be able to comprehend that we don’t live in the apostolic era. (Duh.)

    Hence the preservation of the entire apostolic teaching in the inspired, sufficient and perspicuous NT Scripture as per the same (2 Tim. 3:17).

    Again Scripture either equips us to “every/all” good work in 2 Tim. 3:17 or it does nothing of the sort.

    Of course if you can define Scripture to include “Tradition” as Rome historically has done – or make Scripture teach the existence of an alternative authoritative tradition equal to it as the recent rash of romanists are doing here contra Rome’s historic position and without its imprimatur – then it’s all good.

    There’s a vagueness about this discussion that discomforting. As far as I know, Catholicism doesn’t claim any new prophetic visions after the apostolic era, it just claims to clarify via the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    The Immaculate Conception is an inference, and some theologizing, based on scripture, but it’s not made up from whole cloth. True it’s “Tradition,” capital “T,” but so is Jesus’s divinity.

    Once you send Tradition to the dustbin, you get Servetus.

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  189. Appalled, I fully support your need to emote over recent events. Moreover not everyone has the ability to reason through them, so if that includes you then that’s just fine.

    Is Obsessive Blog Disorder really a thing? I don’t think it’s in the DSM but maybe it just hasn’t caught up. But if money gets involved and a guy tries to assert control under a super duper top secret new screen name then I wonder.

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  190. @ MTX: I doubt it. There is no “comments are closed” message, and old comments are either entirely inaccessible (for me) or randomly accessible (for others).

    That would be quite an unusual blog feature for wordpress to offer.

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  191. @ Tom, Kevin, Appalled, and anyone else who is indignant:

    I don’t suppose it’s occurred to you that Christians who aren’t actually *in government* don’t actually have a mandate for activism. They do, however, have two mandates.

    (1) Not forsaking worship, as in keeping the Sabbath, loving God, etc.
    (2) Loving neighbor by fulfilling their common callings.

    Nowhere in there is a mandate to go politically organize. Now, if being a politician *is* your common calling, then go for it. Somebody has to be a politician, and bless you.

    I’m not, and never could be. God does not want me to spend my time and energy trying to unring the gay marriage wedding bells. He *does* want me to spend time and energy trying to make my own marriage and family work.

    Where in the Bible is activism mandated?

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  192. According to this blog, I’m an incoherent dishonest bloviating right-wing social-engineering apologist in orbit at risk of becoming an addled tool of the state. Further, I sound to three separate commentators like a Protestant and in another universe might be a theonomist.

    Care to add anything?

    -Bob S., Appalled, CT,
    Email DG and ask him to dis-invite me from the blog if you like- nothing wrong with that if you have just grounds I’m given a chance to gracefully depart. I don’t appreciate the disparagement.

    Bob S., you and others demonstrated what MichaelTX charitably termed a logic problem- it isn’t clear to me why it was so difficult to admit that the Church was functioning after Pentecost and before the epistles of James and Paul. That was holding up any advance in the conversation- we need to be able to agree on basic historical facts.

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  193. Kevin, no one’s stopping you and I doubt it has even occurred to DGH. If someone still talks to you I’m sure you can keep on talking. You just have to realize that not everyone is going to be interested in talking about social issues with a guy who wishes the Pope called the shots in the USA and thinks the Statue of Liberty is idolatrous. But it’s a free country (as long as you and the Pope don’t get to make the laws) so you have every right to your opinions.

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  194. Jeff,
    Where in the Bible is activism mandated?

    Perhaps nowhere. I agree with your comment above.

    But I think we are obligated on behalf of love of neighbor and desire for justice between men to take our civic responsibilities seriously (try to be informed voters) and encourage the good-faith efforts of those who feel called to seek just laws or attempt to address through private action immoralities in the culture (such as abortion or SSM).

    Further I don’t see how trying to understand the impact of one’s actions counts as “social-engineering” or “activism” or is indeed in any way contemptible. Any light you can shed on why anyone would think this (perhaps with reference to the landlord case I described) would be appreciated.

    And did you get a chance to read the reply on the I.C. I wrote you on the other thread? Spent a lot of time on it.

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  195. Muddy’s not being honest.

    Throughout all this he’s said “I don’t enforce the law”.

    He does. He’s a government lawyer and this all hits close to home for him.

    He needs to admit his conflict of interest or bow out.

    See also: what’s happening in Oregon.

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  196. Muddy Gravel
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Permalink
    Appalled, I fully support your need to emote over recent events.

    You really need to read CS Lewis’ The Abolition of Man, brother. In fact it changed my life. The main section, “Men Without Chests” is the act you’re pulling here, those who sneer at honest human emotion, passion, and all things transcendent.

    That humanity, that passion, that love and care and all the rest, are the best part of us.

    “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

    This is the world you have made, my dear Men without Chests, you Turnips for Christ.

    “You cannot go on ‘explaining away’ for ever: you will find that you have explained explanation itself away. You cannot go on ‘seeing through’ things for ever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it.”

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  197. Sean,
    I combined the last two of my posts over in “The Court Gives…” Maybe posts 1533 and 1535.
    Let me see if I can go through those Scripture passages you wanted me to see. I will put my thoughts on them and maybe we can see if they exclude me believe in Apostolic Traditions that do not contradict what is taught in Scripture, but not found in Scripture. This is what I see you must provide Biblical warrant for. If the Scriptures anywhere teach that I am to reject Apostolic Traditions that I can’t be deduce or explicitly found in Scripture, then Sola Scriptura wins. Remember we both believe no Tradition can be received that contradicts Scripture. You just believe the Church can’t teach as true doctrine and practice what can’t be deduced or explicitly found the Scripture. This is what is in question. That from your Sola Scriptura position you must prove from Scripture Alone, because it is you who are limiting where you get your deduced or explicitly received doctrines from.

    2 Peter 1:16-21Revised Standard Version (RSV)

    16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son,[a] with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

    I am not sure where you are coming from in this passage excluding Apostolic Traditions, because the verse 21 in this passage does not limit itself to the written Word. “…men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. ” The people who heard them would of course require that what they were saying was “in accord” with the Scripture and Covenants, but these men were always saying things that weren’t previously contained in Scripture. Therefor the hearers were not “deducing or explicitly receiving” teachings from Scripture, so if the hearers believed in Sola Scriptura they would have rejected the extra biblical parts of what the one sent from God with a message to give His people. This passage does clearly point out the importance the historic truth of what the Apostles witness. If
    this “You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place…” is what you are talking about, those of us who believe in Sacred Traditions believe this to. What it does not say is “only pay attention”. That would make it teach Sola Scriptura.

    2 Timothy 3:16Revised Standard Version (RSV)

    16 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

    Quite agreed with everything in this passage. All Scripture absolutely true and is “profitable” or “useful” as some translations put it. It does not say Scripture is the “only” thing inspired by God though which would be also “profitable” or “useful”. In verse ten just before this Paul points out the importance of more than receiving what is written by him, saying “Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at Ico′nium, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.” He later in the chp 4 says, “14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will requite him for his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. ” This “message” was not completely inscripturated yet, therefore Paul was speaking Ill of this man for not receiving unwritten Apostolic Tradition and fighting against it.

    Galatians 1:8Revised Standard Version (RSV)

    8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed.

    This is why the Catholic Church has pronounced some Reformed beliefs and adherence outside of the faith. We believe it is outside of the Gospel preached by the Apostles, including Paul. Either way, don’t know how this one teaches Sola Scriptura. You may have to explain. The Gospel wasn’t received by Scripture when those he was writing to first believed it, they received it from Apostolic Tradition. I can’t see Paul condemning how he regularly preached here. He is only pointing out the Gospel he has taught is the only true Gospel. It should be believed.

    1 Corinthians 14:37-38Revised Standard Version (RSV)

    37 If any one thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. 38 If any one does not recognize this, he is not recognized.

    To start with Paul is specifically speaking about his commands the in Corinthians, but of course I have no problem with this applying to all the commands or statements of the NT books or OT for that matter. This still does not exclude believing Apostolic Traditions that aren’t contradicted by any Scripture of the Old or New Testaments. It is also in the next chapter which Paul points out the importance of the fact that he teaches Apostolic Tradition saying, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” Both the “I delivered to you” and ” I also recieved” have the Greek root “παρέ” and “παρέδωκα” was translated by St Jerome in the Vulgate as “tradidi(I delivered) enam(for) vobis(you)”. Obviously “tradidi” is the origin and root of our English “tradition”, our word meaning something handed down or passed on. Another thing to notice is, Paul has no problem admitting the Church of God existed, and people were even dying now as members of it, before he even knew the Gospel much less had wrote anything down as an Apostle.

    2 Thessalonians 2:15Revised Standard Version (RSV)

    15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.

    Really don’t know how you are excluding the possibility of Apostolic Traditions being received and believed with this verse. Should we believe all Apostolic Traditions or just the ones we can find in the NT writings? This verse seem to say we aren’t limited by just what can be found in the NT to me.

    So you know I will be out of pocket for the next few days. Don’t know how quick I can respond, but God willing I will.

    Like

  198. Kevin,

    I respect your position but am interested in its consistency. You say health workers and food workers have a duty to serve all people whereas workers in other industries such as yours do not share such a duty. I think you said your justification for this is because the customer/patient might have no other option? But surely there are many restaurants and grocery stores and clinics in many areas. And even if there is only one surely there is more than one employee there who can likely perform the same service if another employee refused. So I am still comfused on what basis you can deny any worker in any field the option to refuse service to any customer or client on any grounds whatsoever he deems appropriate.

    Secondly your position seems to conflate all kinds and species of cooperation with evil to a single one. You are an informed RC – Im sure you are aware of the distinctions between immediate, mediate, material, formal, remote, proximate and the permutations thereof RC moral theologians make in discussing culpability and liberty/discretion. We live in a fallen world; all of us have to cooperate to some degree with evil – oftentimes unknowingly – the only consistent way to avoid that is to retreat entirely and become a hermit and live off the land.

    Like

  199. Erik, you have been asked to leave. Are you really this out of control?

    And you are clueless about my work. Please exhibit maturity and self control.

    Like

  200. Appalled
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink
    Muddy’s not being honest.

    Throughout all this he’s said “I don’t enforce the law”.

    He does. He’s a government lawyer and this all hits close to home for him.

    He needs to admit his conflict of interest or bow out.

    See also: what’s happening in Oregon.

    Dude, I don’t think it’s fair–or good–to “out” someone who prefers to remain anonymous in the blogosphere. Let the ideas rise or fall on their own. I hope the discussion is shaking his tree, because it needs a shake-up. And if he protests too much, then that’s between him and his God. Hopefully the two of them are discussing it privately.

    [Um, want him to take a guess as to who you are, Mr./Ms. “Appalled”? Mr. Gravel is manifestly a smart fellow. ;-)]

    Like

  201. Muddy Gravel
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 11:22 pm | Permalink
    Erik, you have been asked to leave. Are you really this out of control?

    Or mebbe not, Mr./Ms. “Appalled.” ;/-)

    Like

  202. Egads, Michael! I’m already two drinks and some drugs into this evening. I’ll try to give it some time manana. Still, thanks for the effort.

    Like

  203. “Im sure you are aware of the distinctions between immediate, mediate, material, formal, remote, proximate and the permutations thereof RC moral theologians make in discussing culpability and liberty/discretion.”

    CVD, these are indeed useful. They are also utilized on the Reformed side, FYI.

    Like

  204. Bob,

    Well hopefully the other thread will come back to life so this one isnt polluted but Ill indulge for now.

    “Nobody including CVD seem to be able to comprehend that we don’t live in the apostolic era. (Duh.) Hence the preservation of the entire apostolic teaching in the inspired, sufficient and perspicuous NT Scripture as per the same (2 Tim. 3:17).”

    Your hence doesnt follow which is the point, youre just asserting it. Secondly you believe revelation has ended and the apostolic age is over based on Tradition. As is your identification of Scripture in the first place. So your argument fails on 3 counts.

    “Again Scripture either equips us to “every/all” good work in 2 Tim. 3:17 or it does nothing of the sort. ”

    Again Scripture is useful and profitable but that verse nowhere condemns tradition as not binding which we expect since the same author affirms binding unwritten tradition. And since SS was not operative during apistolic times Paul couldnt have meant to teach such when penning that verse. So 2 more strikes.

    “Of course if you can define Scripture to include “Tradition” as Rome historically has done”

    I already cited Ratzingers thoughts on Tradition encompassing Scripture in the church and being the interpretive lens through which Scripture is viewed and lives. None of the arguments made so far necessitate a partim partim view.

    Like

  205. BTW Sean,
    You are welcome to respond back in “The Court Gives…” In a day or so, if it gets functional anyway. Just wanted you to get my response to start your own.

    Like

  206. Kevin: But I think we are obligated on behalf of love of neighbor and desire for justice between men to take our civic responsibilities seriously (try to be informed voters) and encourage the good-faith efforts of those who feel called to seek just laws or attempt to address through private action immoralities in the culture (such as abortion or SSM).

    I generally agree BUT

    * “encourage” is open-ended. How much encouragement is obligatory? $10? $100? $1000?
    * I might agree with the direction that someone wants to get, yet have a problem with their particular plan.

    Take Abby Johnson, pro-life advocate. She does unique and really neat work, encouraging abortion clinic workers to quit.

    She and I disagree about whether it would be a good idea or not to pass a pro-life law with a rape and incest exception. In her mind, no exceptions are acceptable. In my mind, a 99% reduction in abortions now is preferable to holding out for 100% and getting 0%. A rape-and-incest exception is likely to be a compromise necessary to get actual buy-in from American voters.

    So does she have an obligation to support me, or vice-versa?

    That’s the “compromise” issue that makes politics unlike church. In church, you don’t compromise on doctrine. In politics, you do. You must, in order to get anything at all.

    Kevin: Further I don’t see how trying to understand the impact of one’s actions counts as “social-engineering” or “activism” or is indeed in any way contemptible. Any light you can shed on why anyone would think this (perhaps with reference to the landlord case I described) would be appreciated.

    I was thinking about the false choice that keeps coming round:

    (1) One seeks to bring Biblical ethics as norms for the common sphere, OR
    (2) One admits to not caring about righteousness.

    Let’s take your landlording. You say,

    KC: Let’s say the court finds this very comment (perhaps checking with the NSA regarding my record) and uses it as evidence of my position. In NJ, I suspect I would lose this case and be liable for loads of cash in fines, plus lawyer fees, plus it would be time-consuming. Not far-fetched! The state would then compel me to facilitate sin.

    Of course, the state can’t compel you. They can make life uncomfortable for you, fine you, jail you, execute you (not happening in this situation, but think Babylon and Daniel). They can’t compel you to facilitate sin.

    So now we ask a question: Is “facilitating sin” a sin itself? That’s not an easy question. Clearly, buying bullets for my friend makes me an accessory to whatever he does with those bullets.

    Let’s say that it is in fact a sin to rent to a gay couple. Then, my friend, you have an obligation to not rent to that couple no matter what the state does to you. If it REALLY IS a sin to rent, don’t do it.

    But while you’re chewing on that, is it a sin to facilitate the sin of opposite-sex fornication? Adultery? Sex while using contraception?

    What if the gay couple rents the room, but has no intercourse in the room?

    You can see that this is getting out of hand. If indeed it is a sin to facilitate sin, then you need to police all possible sins that might happen in that rented room. Heck, that room might be used for tax evasion! Or worshiping false gods.

    Or if you aren’t willing to police all possible sins, then the hard question is, Why do I draw a hard line on same-sex intercourse, but relax my standards where it comes to opposite-sex sins, theft, idolatry, etc.?

    And why do I protest about the government compelling me to facilitate sin, and then turn around and let them? Shouldn’t I be the Daniel here?

    Could it be possible that I am selective in bringing the Bible to bear on civic life?

    Kevin: And did you get a chance to read the reply on the I.C. I wrote you on the other thread? Spent a lot of time on it.

    I did indeed. I was looking for it in order to respond to it when I discovered that the comments on that thread are inaccessible to me.

    Short reply: Given that you admit to two possible alternatives (Jesus was supernaturally protected from transmission of sin, or Mary was), IC is not a “good and necessary” inference but rather a “speculative” inference.

    Which happens. We all try to fill in the gaps. But here’s the rub: Given that IC is speculative, what sense does it make to put people outside the church for thinking otherwise? This is the flip side of your renting-to-gays issue.

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  207. Cletus van Damme
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 11:17 pm | Permalink
    Kevin,

    I respect your position but am interested in its consistency. You say health workers and food workers have a duty to serve all people whereas workers in other industries such as yours do not share such a duty. I think you said your justification for this is because the customer/patient might have no other option? But surely there are many restaurants and grocery stores and clinics in many areas. And even if there is only one surely there is more than one employee there who can likely perform the same service if another employee refused. So I am still confused on what basis you can deny any worker in any field the option to refuse service to any customer or client on any grounds whatsoever he deems appropriate.

    Secondly your position seems to conflate all kinds and species of cooperation with evil to a single one. You are an informed RC – Im sure you are aware of the distinctions between immediate, mediate, material, formal, remote, proximate and the permutations thereof RC moral theologians make in discussing culpability and liberty/discretion. We live in a fallen world; all of us have to cooperate to some degree with evil – oftentimes unknowingly – the only consistent way to avoid that is to retreat entirely and become a hermit and live off the land.

    Y’know it’s funny–actually it’s not, it’s probative. I had a close friend and blogbrother who was steeped in the rabbinical tradition–Yeshiva University, went to Israel and found a wife on a kibbutz and they raise their kids Jewish and kosher and according to The Law–

    Anyway, Jay [he wouldn’t mind me sharing this] told me yes, of course they intensively studied the scriptures [first learning Hebrew, so they could study the scriptures in their true language!].

    But when Dad got home, he posed not a Bible quiz, but an ethical problem for them to work on and sort out–of course in accordance with the scriptures. Christians [not just the Bible-bots but clearly the Catholics too] have no problem-solving ability in morality and ethics and so argue either Bible or US constitutional law–and now, one against the other.

    Morality and ethics constitute the natural law, constitute God’s plan for “How Shall We Then Live?”

    Christians are as ethically and morally illiterate as the pagans who are burying them.

    “When all that says ‘it is good’ has been debunked, what says ‘I want’ remains.–CS Lewis

    To return to topic, and Michael’s benign tyranny over his apartment house–I suspect he’s violating numerous US Govt housing laws, but on the other hand isn’t his first duty to his slumlord employer and his fellow slumdwellers? To make sure the rent’s paid and the building’s not scumified, the meth lab is kept out of Apt. 3-G, and the kids [including his own since he lives there too] have the best nuclear family examples to look up to, instead of the too-common alternatives?

    Like

  208. Muddy-

    not everyone is going to be interested in talking about social issues with a guy who wishes the Pope called the shots in the USA and thinks the Statue of Liberty is idolatrous.

    I don’t too much mind the disinterest, it’s the repeated accusations of bad faith that get me. I’m not thrilled on third-person disparagement, either.

    Your assumption on what it would mean for the U.S. to submit to Catholic moral guidance is a misunderstanding of my position- I didn’t raise the issue for discussion, you asked me, so I answered. You and others reacted quite hastily (as George Will did on the same subject several years back).

    I don’t want to write a full explanation right now, although I think you’d find it interesting, nuanced, and still completely unacceptable. But I’m not saying let’s have the College of Cardinals do double duty as the Electoral College.

    Like

  209. All-

    When I asked What are the minimum conditions for America’s treatment of [the S.o.L.] to qualify as false worship? that is literally all I meant- perhaps I have a thought or intuition, but I have no argument (at least yet). Fair replies might be “is anyone praying to it?” or “I don’t see incense being sacrificed.”

    He then struck the stone three times, and declared it duly laid. Then the elements of consecration were presented, corn, wine, and oil

    Idolatry is a popular topic around here, and I remain interested to know what views there are about a statue which:

    a) was “consecrated” in a para-religious rite;
    b) with “corn wine & oil” – to my mind ingredients associated with religious rites, Christian and pagan;
    c) following prayer to “the Great Architect of the Universe” (not a Trinitarian God, since they admit non-Trinitarians);
    d) is clearly in the form of a pagan goddess,
    e) and is addressed to a concept which has been abused to lead people away from following God’s commandments.

    It is my belief that an image can serve as a reference to another entity (person, idea, etc.)- the real question is regarding the quality of that entity:

    If someone prays the Our Father while imagining or viewing an image of Christ from the 3rd century Roman Catacombs, I believe that the image serves as a reference (basically in the same way a word refers to a concept, a stop sign means stop, or a baby smiling means he is happy) and tool in directing my attention and prayer (I acknowledge that most here see clear scriptural proof that this is forbidden).

    Similarly, an image of a false god (e.g., Shiva) directs one’s attention and prayer to a false god.

    So, given the S.o.L. is clearly of a pagan Roman goddess, which was “consecrated” in a paraliturgical ceremony in the name of the non-Trinitarian Great Architect of the Universe, and which calls people’s attention to a false (un-Christian, anti-Christian) understanding of “liberty” – what is missing for it to qualify as idolatry or blasphemy? – Explicit theology, prayer, and worship?

    Perhaps a case could be made that many in today’s society worship false liberty.

    So philosophy, idolatry, American culture, and it’s still July so many still have the image of the S.o.L. in their minds. Not timely or of interest? Is implicit acceptance of the S.o.L. a sign of the decline of Christian America?

    And did our captain go down with the ship on the other thread?

    For reference: “consecration” proceedings 1885 (original source):
    https://books.google.com/books?id=_1ZLAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA50

    Like

  210. Jeff Cagle
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 11:48 pm | Permalink
    Kevin: But I think we are obligated on behalf of love of neighbor and desire for justice between men to take our civic responsibilities seriously (try to be informed voters) and encourage the good-faith efforts of those who feel called to seek just laws or attempt to address through private action immoralities in the culture (such as abortion or SSM).

    I generally agree BUT

    * “encourage” is open-ended. How much encouragement is obligatory? $10? $100? $1000?
    * I might agree with the direction that someone wants to get, yet have a problem with their particular plan.

    Take Abby Johnson, pro-life advocate. She does unique and really neat work, encouraging abortion clinic workers to quit.

    She and I disagree about whether it would be a good idea or not to pass a pro-life law with a rape and incest exception. In her mind, no exceptions are acceptable. In my mind, a 99% reduction in abortions now is preferable to holding out for 100% and getting 0%. A rape-and-incest exception is likely to be a compromise necessary to get actual buy-in from American voters.

    So does she have an obligation to support me, or vice-versa?

    That’s the “compromise” issue that makes politics unlike church. In church, you don’t compromise on doctrine. In politics, you do. You must, in order to get anything at all.

    Excellent framing of the issue, Jeff. The ideal vs. the achievable.

    My own problem with Mr. Zrim is that the good should never be the enemy of the perfect. He is given to mock the perfect. This is not good.

    Like

  211. @ Kevin: Are you asking about current Americans or the original founders and dedicators?

    For my part, I view it as just another statue with a somewhat inspiring motto. That’s probably not idolatry.

    Like

  212. @ TVD: Zrim and I have gone many rounds about these very issues. He’s more nuanced and intelligent than you’re giving him credit for.

    Try discussong categories a bit.

    Like

  213. Cletus van Damme
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 11:33 pm | Permalink
    Bob,

    Well hopefully the other thread will come back to life so this one isnt polluted but Ill indulge for now.

    “Nobody including CVD seem to be able to comprehend that we don’t live in the apostolic era. (Duh.) Hence the preservation of the entire apostolic teaching in the inspired, sufficient and perspicuous NT Scripture as per the same (2 Tim. 3:17).”

    Your hence doesnt follow which is the point, youre just asserting it. Secondly you believe revelation has ended and the apostolic age is over based on Tradition. As is your identification of Scripture in the first place. So your argument fails on 3 counts.

    “Again Scripture either equips us to “every/all” good work in 2 Tim. 3:17 or it does nothing of the sort. ”

    Again Scripture is useful and profitable but that verse nowhere condemns tradition as not binding which we expect since the same author affirms binding unwritten tradition. And since SS was not operative during apistolic times Paul couldnt have meant to teach such when penning that verse. So 2 more strikes.

    “Of course if you can define Scripture to include “Tradition” as Rome historically has done”

    I already cited Ratzinger’s thoughts on Tradition encompassing Scripture in the church and being the interpretive lens through which Scripture is viewed and lives.

    That’s what I thought the Catholic position is, not that the Pope can “reveal” tomorrow that God now wants us to wear our underwear on the outside.

    “Tradition” is a lens, no more, but without it, everything is up for grabs. But the lens itself sees nothing.

    Like

  214. Jeff Cagle
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 12:28 am | Permalink
    @ TVD: Zrim and I have gone many rounds about these very issues. He’s more nuanced and intelligent than you’re giving him credit for.

    Try discussing categories a bit.

    Blessed are thou in your peacemaking, Jeff, But I think I hit Mr. Zrim’s nail right on his puddin’ head. He hath elevated the low, the achievable, above the high, the ideal.

    In fact, Brother Z, you mocked ideals as I wrote them as “lofty.” What are your ‘unlofty” ideals? You have not said.

    “Excellent framing of the issue, Jeff. The ideal vs. the achievable.

    My own problem with Mr. Zrim is that the good should never be the enemy of the perfect. He is given to mock the perfect. This is not good.”

    It’s not good. Especially the mocking part. Mr. Z is all yours. Turnips for Christ.

    Like

  215. Cvd-

    I respect your position but am interested in its consistency.
    I don’t have a full analysis of everyone’s moral obligations to society worked out- I do think we have them, though. This is the realm of the prudential at its most rich. I think tvd is right most people (he says Christians) are lousy att it. It takes practice and reflection.

    Re: health workers and food workers v.landlording and denying service-
    There are huge differences in all three cases:
    A) Emergency medical prefers life- we shouldn’t allow people to die based on being sinful (at least in this case; the state has in principle the right to administer capital punishment).
    B) selling groceries to two men I have reason to think are SSMd doesn’t promote anything immoral- catering their wedding does- it spreads the scandal of SSM.
    C) Renting an apartment admits to a community those who are hostile to its values (e.g., if the residents endorse Christian morality).
    D) These cases could be multiplied indefinitely- ethics based in moral theology is complex (c.f. The Abuse of Casuistry.

    […] to refuse service to any customer or client on any grounds whatsoever he deems appropriate.
    I have only advocated morality-based discrimination. Race-based discrimination is an injustice.

    You are an informed RC – Im sure you are aware of the distinctions between immediate, mediate, material, formal, remote, proximate and the permutations thereof RC moral theologians make in discussing culpability and liberty/discretion.
    ~Oy, you trying to make me look bad?~ I wish I had a grasp on these and the permutations thereof. Sure, I know OF them, and have read a little. Did you list all that off the top of your head? If so, good for you.

    We live in a fallen world; all of us have to cooperate to some degree with evil – oftentimes unknowingly – the only consistent way to avoid that is to retreat entirely and become a hermit and live off the land.
    Agreed, but I insist we try to do good rather than build an idealogy justifying moral inertness – embrace the struggle (I think Zrim agrees).

    I assume this fails to satisfy. Sorry.

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  216. Tvd-
    To return to topic, and [Kevin]’s benign tyranny over his apartment house–I suspect he’s violating numerous US Govt housing laws, but on the other hand isn’t his first duty to [himself amd his wife as owner-managers] and his [neighbors]? To make sure the rent’s paid and the building’s not scumified, the [saxophonist doesn’t play after 11], and the kids [including his own since he lives there too] have the best nuclear family examples to look up to, instead of the too-common alternatives?

    Just a few edits. The neighborhood is one of the premiere restaurant districts in the NYC metro area: Portuguese, Brazilian, Galician, Azorean, Spanish, Basque, Catalan, Ecuadorian, etc.

    And I don’t mind being mistaken for Michael, but must correct for his sake.

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  217. K, CVD the questions still remain which you haven’t touched in the main.
    When the 2 Tim. 3:17 says every/all good works it means just that. Or it means nothing at all.
    (First K, then DQinTx ran thru the gamut of overlooked alternative fallacies in trying to find some support for a continuing and inspired apostolic tradition along side Scripture in apostolic Scripture.)

    Otherwise we are in lala land and the pope is sucking stuff out of his thumb. (Immaculate Conception, the mass as a sacrifice, the necessity of a faux Aaronic priesthood etc.)

    When the Bereans heard Paul, they searched the what? OT scriptures to see if what Paul said rang true. Why? Because man does not live by bread alone Deut. 8, Matt. 4. The Word of God is the only/supreme infallible standard.
    And in that the New is a fulfillment of the Old, there was no problem per se before the NT was finally written down as the apostles exited the scene.

    But God’s way of revealing himself in the past have ceased so what we are left with his record in the apostolic NT.

    Anything beside it is redundant, as in unnecessary. (You know, kind of like the quotes in the deuterocanonicals of the OT which are also quoted in the NT, which some how according to Roman misology “prove” that the deuterocanonicals are inspired.)
    End of story.

    That’s the prot position and until you can get it right, you’re really not worth wasting that much time on per se. This is all WCF Chapt. 1/ fundamental principium stuff, much more you are over here arguing your position without knowing ours – which most of you claimed to believe at one time. That’s not too classy. If we were on a Roman website then the shoe would be on the other foot.
    But it’s not.

    Statue of Liberty?
    Get serious.
    Who gave it and why?
    Neither does the abuse of something like a 3rd century catacomb painting or the SoL rule either out or necessitate an iconoclastic Taliban approach.

    Idols and images are teachers of lies when it comes to the triune God Hab. 2:18.
    Likewise Christ’s divinity cannot be separated from his humanity, which necessarily happens in any human attempt to portray him.

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  218. Your hence doesnt follow which is the point, youre just asserting it. Secondly you believe revelation has ended and the apostolic age is over based on Tradition. As is your identification of Scripture in the first place. So your argument fails on 3 counts.

    CVD get back to me after you have read WCF Chapt.1:1 and can adequately articulate its argument and scriptural basis.
    Then you might get an audience for your proposition about squaring circles.
    But not until.

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  219. Kevin in Newark
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 1:51 am | Permalink
    Tvd-
    To return to topic, and [Kevin]’s benign tyranny over his apartment house–I suspect he’s violating numerous US Govt housing laws, but on the other hand isn’t his first duty to [himself amd his wife as owner-managers] and his [neighbors]? To make sure the rent’s paid and the building’s not scumified, the [saxophonist doesn’t play after 11], and the kids [including his own since he lives there too] have the best nuclear family examples to look up to, instead of the too-common alternatives?

    Just a few edits. The neighborhood is one of the premiere restaurant districts in the NYC metro area: Portuguese, Brazilian, Galician, Azorean, Spanish, Basque, Catalan, Ecuadorian, etc.

    And I don’t mind being mistaken for Michael, but must correct for his sake.

    Sorry. I sometimes get confused telling if it’s Mr. muddy or Mr. Z crawling up my ass too. 😉

    In this case, my apologies. Since there are no slums in Texas and Newark is nothing but, my error is inexcusable. 😉

    Still, back to the point, about where your first duty lies–Is it to the US Gov’s anti-discrimination housing laws or to the rest of the people in your building [including your own family] who have to live cheek-by-jowl with whomever you let in?

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  220. @kevin
    I would put your reticence to rent to the wrong folks in the category of “buying meat sacrificed to idols”. If it offends your conscience, then doing so is sinful. If not, it isn’t. The point of 2k is that on such issues, the church shouldn’t try to bind your conscience.

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  221. TVD
    You had a great turn of phrase a while back. Something to the effect that while America may not have been a Christian nation, she provided special accommodation to it. Can you remind me what the right wording was? Also, was that your statement or were you quoting someone?

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  222. Mitch,

    You’re not the boss of me.

    I’ll oppose the 2k Pol Pot and his stooges as long as technology allows.

    Plus. I’m not the one here all day, every day demanding that everyone submit to unelected judges. That’s you.

    Self-control by Old Life participants? That ship sailed months ago. As Sean would say, “go cry in your pilla”.

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  223. Darryl’s brand of 2k has him holed up in Cambodia a la Col. Kurtz with Muddy & Zrim tag teaming the Dennis Hopper role.

    I’m Captain Willard, traveling the river on the way to get him out.

    You guys are getting older and winning no new disciples that I can see.

    How long until Darryl’s 2k is condemned by the churches as the mirror error of Theonomy?

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  224. My experience with the 2k movement is similar to the one that David Horowitz described in “Radical Son”.

    They’ll suck you in with sophisticated arguments about “the spirituality of the church”, but the framework with which to understand these guys is simple: They’re political liberals with a chip on their shoulder against conservatives. Their #1 goal is to silence conservatives in the church.

    The final straws for me were Zrim’s lack of integrity in selling me out behind my back to (supposed enemy, but actually fellow liberal) Jason Stellman, Zrim’s disdain for the pro-life cause, and the utter cluelessness/defense of the Supreme Court gay marriage decision by Darryl, Muddy, and Zrim.

    In other words, these guys are nothing more than liberals acting like liberals with some stuff against Catholicism thrown in to play to the P&R masses.

    Like liberals on domestic policy, though, it’s the intramural fight over politics that really lights their fire.

    Now they attract some Grover Dill hangers-on (i.e. useful idiots) to their Scut Farkus, but the core group here are just plain liberals.

    They’re liberals.

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  225. Let me see if I’m reading you correctly here Erik. You’re saying they’re liberals? Liberals, right? I’m thinking you mean they’re liberals. Plain liberals…now I’m a bit confused. Define “plain liberals” — ugly, ordinary? And you mean political, not theological, right. Liberals you say? Hmmmm.

    Like

  226. Erik, as someone who used to be on friendlier terms with you, I’m just going to say you are embarrassing yourself. But that’s all I’m going to do – if you want to dominate the site with comment after comment as if doing so is somehow a good or praiseworthy thing, it’s your reputation on the line.

    It seems really important to you to shout down people here as if that’s an accomplishment. I really hope you can step back and get some perspective on what you are doing.

    And you still do not at all understand my job.

    Like

  227. Let me write your next comment for you, Shrieker: Chortles, you’re really a conservative but you don’t have the guts to stand up to the LIBERALS. You just defend then and you know better, which makes me sick. You need to grow a spine and get right.

    (Frank Burns wants his schtick back.)

    Like

  228. Typical liberal faux sympathy plus typical liberal condescension plus an assist from a stooge (who lives with a HARDCORE liberal and appears to be manifesting Stockholm Syndrome).

    I know these guys inside out.

    Darryl appears to be on vacay so this could be fun!

    Like

  229. My reputation is by no means at stake, it’s you guys who are on an island in your churches, and you know it.

    Thus the cult-like behavior, circling the wagons, etc.

    Most people in P&R churches would give me a medal.

    Like

  230. Appalled,

    I think I have profited in my short time here, and not just concerning TV show and movie recommendations. All I previously knew about 2k was from John Frame’s Escondido Theology! I think I have better understanding of the church and the Sabbath and worship. Having a very close friend who recently converted from Baptist Fundamentalism to Methodism to RC, this is helpful for learning about RCism too.

    And the fact that there are sinful people in this corner of the Internet too is not really surprising or deterring.

    Like

  231. Walton,

    You need these guys for none of that.

    Attend your local church faithfully, fellowship with the saints, and learn your Confessions.

    The Catholic stuff here is so overblown. It starts and ends with the rejection of the Motives of Credibility. Everything else is just open forum for Catholics to proselytize.

    The obsession honestly makes me question if the host is struggling with Catholic claims himself.

    P&R churches are not suffering a mass exodus to Catholicism.

    Like

  232. About now there are frantic “what do we do?!” E-mails going back & forth combined with attempts to get Darryl online in The Hamptons…

    Like

  233. Appalled,
    You’re right, I don’t need them–I need the church. But I have been pushed toward the local church and encouraged to read my confessions and to fellowship with the saints (kinda like you are encouraging me now!).

    Like

  234. Walton,

    O.k. just don’t get sucked in or you’ll wake up in 3 years by the side of the road with a Keith Olbermann tattoo and compromising photos from a gay wedding chapel.

    It’s “The Hangover” meets Reformed theology.

    Like

  235. Erik, the imagery you’re deploying is amazing — you’re the Martin Sheen character headed down the river of death to kill(?) Col. Darryl and his henchmen-apologists (Zrim and Mitch). You also deserve a medal and your reputation is unquestioned. Oh, and DG is Pol Pot. Let the discerning reader take note.

    This is my last transmission to you on that under-armed little gunboat drifting down some nameless Cambodian River…self-imposing the Sowers rule.

    Like

  236. Tom, what I mock are not lofty ideals but those who cannot learn to simultaneously maintain them and live in the real world where those lofty ideals don’t always get put into practice. Go down to your local town hall and peruse the books. Plenty of laws that don’t match up with one’s lofty ideals. This is where life is actually lived and you compromise (good thing) a lot more than you seem to think. I don’t see a theory for it, though. I see a lot of theorizing for living a life nobody actually leads on planet earth. Nor do I see any theory that allows one to think more like a human being than an idealogue.

    Like

  237. That’s the “compromise” issue that makes politics unlike church. In church, you don’t compromise on doctrine. In politics, you do. You must, in order to get anything at all.

    Ding, Jeff, ding indeed.

    Like

  238. KiN – no disparagement of your internet persona meant by the use of the third person, ignorance on my part that third person usage would or could be taken as offensive – now I know. The post was meant for comic relief. How in the world can you afford to post as much as you do?

    MTX – there is no conspiracy to make your posts unavailable. The host pretty much lets anything fly in the combox, even things that make him come off looking quite bad.

    Appalled, you are right, they do come off looking like liberals in some respects. Some brands of 2K as the mirror image of theonomy, interesting.

    Like

  239. If I say it’s safe to read this site, then it’s safe to read this site. I mean, I’m not afraid to read this site. I’ll read this whole blog.

    Like

  240. There’s a notion in the URCNA, PCA, OPC etc. that we took a principled stand and departed from the liberals in the CRC & PCUSA. If you were a hardcore liberal in one of those churches, though, what would be the best course of action? Stay behind with your fellow liberals and make toothless political gestures that pretty much everyone but NPR, The Nation, and the New York Times editorial page ignores,

    OR

    Move with the conservatives to the new denominations and be a thorn in their side, all the while claiming conservative theological orthodoxy (i.e. Confessional subscription).

    Which move creates more frustration for conservatives?

    It’s like liberals from California moving to Austin, Texas in order to tick off a majority red state population.

    Sinister, but brilliant in a twisted way.

    Like

  241. @Kevin
    Just for the record, I would not support erecting a model of the Statue of Liberty in church (I would say the same thing about hoisting flags in the sanctuary).

    Like

  242. @appalled So you’re saying one should be on the political right to be part of a confessionally serious P&R church? There’s no room for libertarians and democrats in your church?

    Like

  243. So of course we also get Chortles with the “speech is murder” schtick. Typical liberal tactic. He’s learning from his masters.

    No, I’m not physically threatening anyone. Duh. You guys are like a gaggle of panicked women when anyone matches your rhetoric and actually challenges you.

    This is the brilliance of Van Dyke. The same persistent (and valid) criticism of 2K for two years now, on a daily basis. Criticism that has reduced Darryl to acting like a child towards him day after day.

    The Sowers rule would be great, but you guys can’t hold the line. Darryl will likely delete all this when he returns anyway, so the Sowers rule is likely not an option.

    Like

  244. sdb – @appalled So you’re saying one should be on the political right to be part of a confessionally serious P&R church? There’s no room for libertarians and democrats in your church?

    Appalled – Great question.

    There is room for libertarians and certainly for the apolitical. I have a really hard time with pro choice, pro gay marriage Democrats in a NAPARC church.

    What I object to is the liberal attempt to mock conservatives for acting according to their conscience in the public sphere, the workplace, etc. Zrim and Chortles are the two here who primarily do that consistently. They would prefer that people’s faith remain toothless and harmless to their agendas.

    Darryl is rarely as direct as them — he prefers to be more clever and nuanced — but he provides the forum for them and he also provides the springboard with his posts and ambiguous positions on topics like gay marriage and allowing married gay members of OPC churches.

    He’s the gadfly and they’re the hardened ideologues who benefit from his game playing.

    Like

  245. Muddy, not Chortles.

    Chortles won’t buck those guys, though, because he covets their love and approval.

    Like

  246. Muddy,

    LCMS.

    Did Zrim add Lutherans to his list of Christians who are as bad as murderers? Last I heard only Baptists were on that list.

    Anyone else up for beating up on Confessional Lutherans (who basically gave birth to 2K, by the way)?

    You guys are getting this desperate?

    Like

  247. Here’s a Rorschach test for you:

    Yesterday’s news featured a story on Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of dead babies:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/07/15/shock-video-planned-parenthood-sells-dead-baby-body-parts.html

    Can you fathom Darryl writing a post about this, calling attention to it and perhaps even lamenting it? If not, why not.

    Will Zrim just dismiss this as overheated Pro Life rhetoric?

    What gives with these guys if they’re not hardcore liberals disguised as NAPARC church officers?

    Like

  248. Having read some of the notes here, I am compelled to say that the Pope has taken a role that those of us from the Reformed tradition should have also taken in the world. In that without trying to offer the ‘right’ or ‘Christian’ solution to our larger problems, he has spoken prophetically to the world about what is wrong in areas of economics, the environment, and such.

    I am not saying that the Pope has spoken inerrantly. But that he has tried to address the system and societal sins that are often under the control of those with wealth and power is very legitimate and necessary for the Church to do. Instead of just being concerned with personal sins, the Pope has called people out for societal sins and that is what we should also be doing regardless of how much agreement we have with specifics of what the Pope has been saying.

    Like

  249. Erik, if you’re gonna take it down the personal route, you should really do it in person. It’s yellow bellied to go at it on a blog. Everyone loses their cool and steps on it, but each time you reengage you start naming names and going scorched earth and acting butt hurt. Do the guys here a service and give them the chance to deal definitively with you if you want to take pot shots and demean them. Blog beligerence is so dissatisfying at this level.

    Like

  250. Jeff Cagle :don’t suppose it’s occurred to you that Christians who aren’t actually *in government* don’t actually have a mandate for activism. They do, however, have two mandates.(1) Not forsaking worship, as in keeping the Sabbath, loving God, etc. (2) Loving neighbor by fulfilling their common callings.

    mandate:
    Romans 11 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
    12 1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect…

    Like

  251. Curt – In that without trying to offer the ‘right’ or ‘Christian’ solution to our larger problems, he has spoken prophetically to the world about what is wrong in areas of economics, the environment, and such.

    What does this even mean?

    How do you speak prophetically w/o speaking in a “right” or “Christian” manner?

    Or he’s speaking to itching ears that are itching to hear.

    Like

  252. a.

    A mandate for personal holiness does not equal a mandate for activism, regardless of the overarching truth of of Him, through Him, to Him. God reconciles the world to Himself in Christ (i.e. through the Church). Not activism. Are you postmillenial by any chance?

    Like

  253. Or what I mean to say is, how is such prophetic speech which may (not) be Xian or correct be of any value whatsoever?

    I’ve already said too much.

    Like

  254. d4v34x:

    ACTIVISM:: a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous actions especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue

    direct vigorous action -present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect…

    Like

  255. Sean,

    Fair point made in a substantive way.

    The only personal part is continued dismay and disappointment over Zrim being a snake. No apology from him, no correction from others, in spite of multiple appeals on my part to multiple guys. You all own him — he’s your problem. He’ll sell you out at some point, too.

    The non-personal part is the public positions that Darryl, Zrim, and Muddy take day after day, which has only gotten worse with the Supreme Court decision. That’s absolutely fair game for as long as technology allows me to comment.

    Like

  256. This is blogdom Matthew 18 in practice.

    I’ve appealed to the offender and to others in the inner circle — to no avail.

    So the next step is to make it known to the internet church.

    Like

  257. It’s been beyond sad the last month on here.

    Us good old 2K folk will withdraw and take a sabbatical and let those posting with nothing to say, and say it 10,000 times, wear out.

    And they will, posters with 10 times the zeal and more than one thing to say 10,000 ran out of steam and disappeared through the years.

    Then the good folks will return.

    Like

  258. kent

    and…Romans 12 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith…

    Like

  259. a.

    Key portion of your (cherry-picked?) definition being: especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue.

    Doing it for and before God in service to Him is different than doing so before the world in order to effect social change/conformity. Whoever charged moralism was spot on.

    Some other definitions of activism that don’t dovetail as well as yours (which, as I’ve shown doesn’t do so quite like you thought it did):

    -the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.
    -efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change, or stasis.

    Like

  260. Many of you guys have allowed the liberals here to tie you in knots. They did it to me over three years, but the guy who first met them is back — the spell broken.

    It’s really simple. As Christians we take a stand for the truth wherever we find ourselves — in the church, in our homes, in our workplaces, in the voting booth, in the public sphere as we feel led. We’re the same guy all the time. It’s really simple.

    And when others do likewise, we don’t harass them for following Scripture and their consciences. We pray for them, support them, and maybe occasionally appeal to them if we think they’re a little off.

    Everyone but liberals get this. Liberals hate it.

    Like

  261. And if you’re in a job where you can’t do that, maybe you need to go work someplace else. Better to work on an assembly line than forfeit your soul. You’re not living that much longer anyway and you can’t take your toys with you. Just live consistently for Christ and allow him to supply your earthly needs during this brief sojourn.

    Then watch how your wives and kids change and grow spiritually as well.

    Like

  262. Erik, Z gave his apology and you publicly accepted it, saying you would not mention it again. Your Christian obligation is now to walk away from it, and you sin every time you re-hash it.

    Like

  263. d4v34x:cherry-picked? definition

    How about generic definition

    how about we let the Spirit of the living God in each of us who are His, rather than man, compel each of us to the certain action or not just as He sees fit wherever, however according to His word

    how about this action of each man though as instructed us : let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

    have a great day

    Like

  264. Muddy,

    There was no apology. Just a rambling e-mail with a conclusion that it was somehow my fault. Ask him to send it to you. Darryl has seen it, but as Pontius Pilate he will do nothing.

    None of you are man enough to call him out, either.

    Like

  265. OK, I’m done with this but it is a fact that you posted you would not mention it again. Are you a man of your word or not?

    Like

  266. It is relevant because it was a huge part of my wakeup call. If a leading figure in a movement is that lacking in humility and integrity, that’s a red flag for (1) what the movement is about, and (2) what it does to its adherents. But again, that’s your guys problem. I’m no longer part of the movement.

    Like

  267. Muddy,

    When he continued his behavior after his non-apology, all bets were off.

    Obviously you guys just twisted his arm to confess because I was putting heat on all of you.

    If you could re-twist his arm to apologize with no caveats and chime in that what he did was wrong, I’ll go away. Apparently you all knew he was the leaker before he came to me. That makes you all accomplices.

    Like

  268. a.

    Great day yourself. You going somewhere?

    Your problem is that you keep refering to instructions given to Christians for personal observance (Romans 12) or for observance between brothers within the Church (Heb 10) and saying they tell us to get pagans to act like Christians.

    Non-sequitur, yo!

    Like

  269. @Appalled

    sdb – @appalled So you’re saying one should be on the political right to be part of a confessionally serious P&R church? There’s no room for libertarians and democrats in your church?

    Appalled – Great question. There is room for libertarians and certainly for the apolitical. I have a really hard time with pro choice, pro gay marriage Democrats in a NAPARC church.
    </blockquote

    I guess this is where we part ways. I think there should be a place for folks like Misty Irons in a NAPARC church. I thought she was mistaken, but looking how events have unfolded since her original proposal, I am coming to the conclusion that I was wrong. Had we (conservative christians broadly defined) followed her lead, we would likely be in a better place now. Paul is quite clear that we are to be very strict with the sexually immoral within our own congregations (and our laxity here is a scandal), but that discipline does not apply to those outside of the church. Supporting state recognition of same-sex unions is not inconsistent with seeing such unions as sinful – there are all sorts of prudential arguments one might make. Had we gotten out in front of this a decade ago, we wouldn't find our tax-exempt status, employment status, and existence of parachurch organizations imperiled. Maybe I'm wrong and good Christians can disagree, but there should be room for both sides in the church.

    What I object to is the liberal attempt to mock conservatives for acting according to their conscience in the public sphere, the workplace, etc. Zrim and Chortles are the two here who primarily do that consistently. They would prefer that people’s faith remain toothless and harmless to their agendas.

    Darryl is rarely as direct as them — he prefers to be more clever and nuanced — but he provides the forum for them and he also provides the springboard with his posts and ambiguous positions on topics like gay marriage and allowing married gay members of OPC churches.

    He’s the gadfly and they’re the hardened ideologues who benefit from his game playing.

    I disagree with your characterization insofar as it applies to the blog posts and comments. I’m no insider (and have no desire to be), so take it for what’s worth.

    Like

  270. Jeff-

    Thanks for your detailed reply.

    * “encourage” is open-ended. How much encouragement is obligatory? $10? $100? $1000?
    $0. The minimum I would consider obligatory is: not to attack the just desires of others to affect law for the benefit of society, when their desires are consistent with Christianity.

    This discussion was coming out of:
    a) DG’s ‘gay marriage is 2 steps forward’ and implications that civil law is unimportant,
    b) Zrim’s apparent attack on pro-life activities (which came out in discussion to be more measured than his initial comments suggested); and particularly (at least on my part)
    c) The advocacy of many here of a view that Christianity entails complete submission to a magistrate on any issues not touching worship, and that any attempt to change laws counts as contemptible “activism”.

    * I might agree with the direction that someone wants to get, yet have a problem with their particular plan.
    Great, let them know you appreciate their intentions but think they are taking the wrong approach. I don’t think Zrim’s comments on the dedicated, soft-spoken prolife worker exhibited the right approach.

    Take Abby Johnson […] She and I disagree about whether it would be a good idea or not to pass a pro-life law with a rape and incest exception.
    I agree with you on this one rather than her. She can duke it out in the media and political realm with the official you and I vote for. But we pass on to others (including our children) the basic principle that governments shouldn’t legalize the killing of embryos.

    (This is, by the way, [apologism alert, I guess] precisely the position of most of the RCC:
    a) – #13 at http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/cardocqanda.html
    b) – “But we recognize it’s an imperfect world,” Cardinal O’Connor said. The legislation, he explained, was the result of “sincere, knowledgeable, reasonable people who recognized the complications in the issue and came up with the best bill they could.”)

    In church, you don’t compromise on doctrine.
    Agreed. That approach has always been a complete failure – I think of Byzantine gov-sponsored monothelitism, 18th century ‘noble simplicity’ rationalism, and the contemporary mess Western Christianity is in.

    I was thinking about the false choice that keeps coming round:
    (1) One seeks to bring Biblical ethics as norms for the common sphere, OR
    (2) One admits to not caring about righteousness.

    Perhaps some have raised that false choice, but I’m not sure most have. Whatever the case, I think a measured approach to #1 is the way to go – and I believe Zrim, yourself, tvd, Appalled, and probably almost everyone else here present agrees with it.

    Some, however, seem to imply a deficiency in one’s Christian faith if one is not dogmatically impotent.

    a) – Of course, the state can’t compel you. They can make life uncomfortable
    b) – Is “facilitating sin” a sin itself? That’s not an easy question.
    c) – Let’s say that it is in fact a sin to rent to a gay couple. Then, my friend, you have an obligation to not rent to that couple.

    Agreed, and all the distinctions cvd pointed out come in handy. My habit is, perhaps, to zoom in and simplify a bit, and focus on the black and white when I am dealing with those who distinctions are impossibly difficult.

    1) Renting to a gay couple isn’t murder or worshiping false gods;
    2) it is bad for a neighborhood whose denizens wish to live by Christian morality (or most of them most of the time);
    3) not sure how the moral theologian would describe it, cvd might be able to advise;
    4) at some point fines from the state can imperil my ability to provide for my family,which would be a problem as well.

    However, if the state required a child to recite a non-Christian prayer at school (imagine a schoolteacher in a majority Hindu area like some parts of NJ deciding in the name of diversity to teach kids a ‘traditional Hindu folksong’ which on inspection turns out to be to Shiva or something), this would be something firmly to resist.

    You can probably come up with better examples, but I agree that we are required to undergo persecution rather than sin.

    But while you’re chewing on that, is it a sin to facilitate the sin of opposite-sex fornication? Adultery? Sex while using contraception? What if the gay couple rents the room, but has no intercourse in the room?

    If any two individuals wish to rent a room, and give no indication of sexual impropriety, I don’t think the owner has an obligation to ask whether they observe sexual morality. But if these two individuals make obvious a contempt for morality, the landlord certainly has a right to refuse them – and in some cases an obligation.

    What if a polygamists’ organization is looking for a hotel to hold a convention at, and announce they intend to engage local media, use local park space, etc. to promote their message- you’re the hotelier and are in a position to permit the spread of their message in your community, or else to say “Sorry, I don’t believe your position is good for the town. Find another location.” I don’t think this is getting out of hand.

    Why do I draw a hard line on same-sex intercourse, but relax my standards where it comes to opposite-sex sins, theft, idolatry, etc.?
    I emphatically don’t, and am not sure why you think I do. Subjects recently raised by the moderator are SSM and the ending of “Christian America”, so that is the course discussions have taken. He could also be writing about morality in economics.

    Could it be possible that I am selective in bringing the Bible to bear on civic life?
    I will repeat like a mantra if need be – it calls for prudence, and isn’t necessarily easy. People can disagree.

    Great point on the IC. I’ll consider and reply later.

    Like

  271. CT –

    no disparagement of your internet persona meant by the use of the third person, ignorance on my part that third person usage would or could be taken as offensive – now I know. The post was meant for comic relief.

    I saw that it was intended as comic relief, but it seemed to me I was the butt of the joke. Apologies if I was too quick to react.

    How in the world can you afford to post as much as you do?
    What, personal info? Intent is to:
    a) generate good faith;
    b) make plain I take the ideas discussed here seriously;
    b) indicate I consider ideas in the context of real circumstances (abstractions can dilute);
    c) thereby provoke people to consider ideas with relation to their own lives;
    d) hopefully stimulate others to talk about where they are from – what their communities are like, what challenges they are facing- and build a shared sense of what a Christian is to do in present-day circumstances.

    My city this morning ran up a gay flag at city hall to celebrate our 9th officially-declared Gay Pride Week (i.e., a gay flag at city hall for a full week). Anyone else encountering this?

    Our Mayor:
    “We are seeing the transformation of our City and nation into an America we can all believe in, and I am proud to join with Newark’s LGBTQ community this week by rejoicing in these gains, supporting their drive for equality, and celebrating their culture.” It is involving the NJ Performing Arts Center (state-funded), Rutgers University (state funded), a state senator, church groups, etc.

    The only plus is that they are handing out decals for store windows – useful in determining which businesses to avoid.

    Like

  272. Far be it from me to get involved in this squabble among the inner circle, but Erik, what is your end game? Is it just to make this site unreadable? As long as I’ve been lurking and occasionally commenting on OL and other Reformed blogs (probably going on 5 or 6 years), folks like DGH and Zrim have been pretty consistent in their views. You may disagree with their emphasis (or lack thereof) on certain issues like abortion, but as far as I know they’ve never said anything outside the bounds of confessional orthodoxy. And DGH is one of the few, along with Scott Clark, who has consistently defended the gospel against subtle attacks from within the Reformed community on imputation, justification, etc.

    And, I’m hardly a fanboy. I agree with much of 2k theory, but probably land in a different place on the 2k spectrum than they do. Isn’t that part of the point of 2k? I share your views on abortion and gay marriage, but I should have Christian liberty in how I engage the issues. I’m not a culture warrior. I wear a lot of hats – father of 2 (soon to be 3), husband, son, employee, church member, neighbor – and I don’t have a lot of time left to run for office or campaign door-to-door. And, judging from past results, I’m really skeptical about what kind of inroads a Christian parachurch organization is going to make in “winning” the culture wars.

    Would this riff on “liberals” equally apply to someone like Carl Trueman, who is fairly left of center on political issues last time I checked? I don’t doubt his commitment to the Reformed confession.

    Like

  273. mboss,

    Have I mentioned that Old Life is a hideout for liberals?

    Not that familiar with Trueman, although I’m not aware of him attracting a group of vocal, cult-like followers. If he does, call me. He podcasts with a chick, which gives him two strikes right off the bat with me (sorry, Aimee) so there is that.

    A problem the Old Lifers have is that there pretty much all low T (with the exception of Sean), so they stir things up and then balk when they get a strong reaction (like from Tom Van Dyke or me), because they really don’t want to summon the energy to deal with it. The answer is, just keep your head down and don’t poke hornets’ nests with sticks. If they’re really 2K and not just liberals, just shut up about it and go about your business.

    Like

  274. mboss – And DGH is one of the few, along with Scott Clark, who has consistently defended the gospel against subtle attacks from within the Reformed community on imputation, justification, etc.

    Appalled – Yet they’re 180 degrees apart on the degree to which gay marriage is a threat to the church, so one of them is off base on that.

    I might have missed it, but when I started here I don’t remember Darryl being a mouthpiece for left wing causes to the degree he his now. Perhaps he’s still evolving?

    Like

  275. Bob,

    “When the 2 Tim. 3:17 says every/all good works it means just that.”

    Yes Scripture equips believers for good works. That doesn’t get you SS.

    “First K, then DQinTx ran thru the gamut of overlooked alternative fallacies in trying to find some support for a continuing and inspired apostolic tradition along side Scripture in apostolic Scripture.”

    Unwritten tradition was operating prior to and concurrently with the process of inscripturation. That’s the point and why the apostles extoll it in their writings. The church began at Pentecost, not in 95 AD when John penned Revelation.

    “When the Bereans heard Paul, they searched the what? OT scriptures to see if what Paul said rang true.”

    Yup. Examining Scripture to see if its compatible with claims and teaching doesn’t get you SS. If the Bereans rejected Paul’s message, they would not have been commended.

    “Why? Because man does not live by bread alone Deut. 8, Matt. 4. The Word of God is the only/supreme infallible standard.”

    There you go again with the non-sequitur conclusions.

    “But God’s way of revealing himself in the past have ceased so what we are left with his record in the apostolic NT.”

    There you go again with the non-sequitur conclusions – revelation ceasing does not entail SS. And again you rely on Tradition for knowing God’s way of revealing himself in the past has ceased, and you rely on it for your recognition of the extent and scope of the apostolic NT.

    “Anything beside it is redundant, as in unnecessary.”

    Just like the NT is redundant and unnecessary in your continued attempts to paint NT believers and apostles as OT SS’ists.

    Like

  276. I might have missed it, but when I started here I don’t remember Darryl being a mouthpiece for left wing causes to the degree he his now. Perhaps he’s still evolving?

    I’m not an unqualified DGH fanboy, but I have read 4 of his books now, and most of his main posts on OLTS (I don’t attempt to follow every comment thread), but I haven’t seen anything that would justify that remark. What I see here is completely consistent with his books. How you see such a change is simply beyond my comprehension. That is all I care to say on the mater, and I hesitate to say even that as there seems to be more going on here than I can, or care to, fathom.

    Like

  277. AN,

    Pretty sure you can be high T and gay. The T is just aimed in another direction.

    I followed up on the gay thing and it was denied so we can just let that one go.

    Like

  278. Dan,

    “A Secular Faith” was a bit…out there. It was not Van Drunen on 2K.

    If you were a leader in the OPC wouldn’t you seek to make very clear statements on the topic of gay marriage and, when questioned to clarify your unclear statements, wouldn’t you clarify as opposed to continuing to be purposefully unclear.

    This is what liberals do. Slippery stuff.

    Like

  279. Kevin,

    “Re: health workers and food workers v.landlording and denying service-
    There are huge differences in all three cases:”

    Okay so the distinction is not that one industry provides necessary services while others do not which I had thought was your rationale.

    “A) Emergency medical prefers life- we shouldn’t allow people to die based on being sinful (at least in this case; the state has in principle the right to administer capital punishment).”

    But are the medical professionals facilitating and enabling sin by saving known sinful and immoral people? What if it isn’t an immediate life-and-death situation – should the medical professional still be allowed to refuse service and say “there are other nurses and doctors here” or “there are other clinics across town – please try them”?

    “B) selling groceries to two men I have reason to think are SSMd doesn’t promote anything immoral- catering their wedding does- it spreads the scandal of SSM.”

    Aren’t you facilitating their sin by giving them food to eat and survive? What if they are waiting in line and talking about their sexual exploits or how they can’t wait to go pick up some girls or guys this weekend and get wasted with the alcohol or have a big party with the food they are buying from you?

    “C) Renting an apartment admits to a community those who are hostile to its values (e.g., if the residents endorse Christian morality).”

    But this seems to just be arbitrarily grading sin or selecting which ones you’ll look out for? So known SSM couples are “bad” for the community, but people who hold grudges, gossip, are angry with or neglectful of their immediate or extended families, co-habitate or use contraception, divorced or remarried without annulment, are devout and caring muslims or mormons or hindus, etc. are fine?

    “D) These cases could be multiplied indefinitely- ethics based in moral theology is complex”

    Absolutely.

    “I have only advocated morality-based discrimination. Race-based discrimination is an injustice.”

    Many in the past and today view racial discrimination as Christian and morality-based – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinism

    “Oy, you trying to make me look bad?”

    Heh, hardly. I am no moral theology expert – I just know that those distinctions along with the principle of double effect are always brought up in complicated discussions on our cooperation with evil since such cooperation seems to be so inevitable and unavoidable if we are to function in society and those concepts can be a helpful guide in at least getting some handle on things. And even with them in play, the answer is not always clear-cut – just google around and you can see the extended discussions or essays covering those themes in various cases. All I am saying is that a position that ignores or conflates all those distinctions immediately jumps out at me as a red flag which is why I brought up the hermit solution – if you don’t make the necessary distinctions, becoming a hermit is the only consistent and viable way I see to live.

    Like

  280. Compare Van Drunen on 2K in “New Horizons”. Serious, sober, pastoral, clear. Also an OPC officer, professor, and attorney. Additionally an ordained ministerr. Now Darryl will respond, “That’s ‘Ordained Servant’ and this is “just a blog”. Show me where the vows of an OPC officer can be turned off and on at will, though.

    http://www.opc.org/nh.html?article_id=854

    New Horizons

    The Christian’s Place in Society

    David VanDrunen

    Conservative American Christians seem to feel culturally adrift and morally isolated today in ways they have never before experienced. While each generation needs to be careful about exaggerating the magnitude of its own challenges, certain moral sentiments have shifted markedly in a short period of time, in ways that raise difficult questions for Christians seeking to understand their place in civil society and their responsibilities within it.

    This article does not analyze these recent cultural shifts, but reflects more broadly on how Christians should understand their identity in the world. Scripture indicates that the discomfort and homelessness that many American Christians now feel is in fact the ordinary and expected state of affairs. This is sobering, but it is heartening to know that Scripture prepares us for these circumstances, providing theological perspective and guidance for faithful life in our changing societies.

    Sojourners and Exiles

    How does Scripture describe Christians’ place in society? First Peter 2:11 presents two important concepts: “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” Peter’s terminology is worthy of special attention since 1 Peter 2 as a whole addresses matters pertinent to American Christians’ concern about society’s changing moral ethos: the nature of the church, opposition from unbelievers, the legitimacy of authority structures, and suffering for righteousness’ sake. In this context, Peter instructs Christians to think of themselves as sojourners and exiles. Both concepts draw upon a rich Old Testament background.

    A sojourner is one who has temporary residence in a place, but no permanent home. In the Old Testament, Abraham and his family were the paradigmatic sojourners (Gen. 12:10; 15:13; 20:1; 21:34; 23:4). God set apart Abraham’s house by establishing the covenant of grace with him (Gen. 15; 17), but he did not command separation from his pagan neighbors in the common affairs of this world. Even while giving up idols and clinging by faith to the true God, Abraham remained an active participant in the broader cultural life of the cities in which he wandered. He joined a military campaign (allied with Sodom and Gomorrah!) (Gen. 14), participated in legal proceedings initiated by Abimelech, king of Gerar (Gen. 20), entered into a civil covenant with Abimelech (Gen. 21:22–34), and engaged in a real estate transaction (Gen. 23). Abraham had no permanent home in these regions, yet was involved in their affairs.

    Exile is a similar concept in important respects. Exiles are people banished from their homeland and compelled to live in foreign places. In the Old Testament, the people of Judah taken into Babylonian captivity were the paradigmatic exiles, and Peter directs his readers to their experience as well. Jeremiah wrote a letter to some of the early exiles, providing perspective and instruction about how to live in Babylon. The prophet encouraged them to continue pursuing the ordinary things of life in exile: building houses, planting gardens, getting married, and having children (Jer. 29:5–6). He also exhorted them to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (29:7). This is remarkable: Jeremiah urged them to promote the welfare of the arrogant pagan city that was destroying Jerusalem. Now their own fortunes were tied to the political and economic fortunes of their host city. But at the same time they needed to remember that Babylon was only a place of exile, not a new homeland, for Jeremiah proceeded to prophesy that God would end their exile and bring them back to Jerusalem after seventy years (29:10–14). Like Abraham the sojourner, the exiles were to be active participants in the affairs of their city of residence without embracing the religion of their pagan neighbors or mistaking this city for their permanent home. Daniel and his three friends exemplified this sort of life (Dan. 1–6).

    Practical Implications

    Given this Old Testament background, what does Peter communicate by calling New Testament Christians “sojourners and exiles”? Obviously our situation is not absolutely identical to that of the sojourners and exiles of old. We who live on this side of Christ’s cross and resurrection enjoy the Spirit’s redemptive blessings in much greater measure than did the Old Testament saints. One privilege the church has that Abraham’s household and the Israelite exiles lacked is God’s call to be a missionary community by actively inviting unbelievers to join us.

    Despite these and other differences, Peter indicates that our similarities are profound. Perhaps at the most basic level, Christians, as sojourners and exiles, should view their societies as places of temporary residence, not as permanent homes. Believers have a homeland, but it has no earthly address. Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), and we are looking for a city that is to come (Heb. 13:14). As with Abraham, our “homeland” is “a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Heb. 11:14, 16). John Calvin asked, “If heaven is our country, what can earth be but a place of exile?” (Institutes, 3.9.4). Yet Peter’s terminology also suggests that Christians should be active participants in their communities of exile, promoting their welfare without mistaking them for “the city that has foundations” (Heb. 11:10).

    In the rest of this article, I offer four reflections upon our Christian identity as sojourners and exiles that ought to be encouraging in our own time.

    First, we may have great confidence in God’s providential government of our exilic societies. Our communities would not exist at all were it not for the covenant of common grace that God established with Noah after the great flood (Gen. 8:21–9:17). In this covenant, God addressed all human beings (9:9, 12)—along with all living creatures (9:10, 12, 15–17), the earth (8:21; 9:13), and the cosmic order (8:22)—and promised to preserve them for as long as “the earth remains” (8:22). God’s common grace preservation entails the basic maintenance of human society. He blesses human procreation (9:1, 7), provides food (9:3–4), and commissions the pursuit of justice (9:5–6). Thanks to this covenant, Christian sojourners may view their earthly societies as legitimate and God-ordained, while at the same time temporary, rather than permanent. Gerar, Babylon, Rome, and the United States have all existed under Noah’s rainbow, serving God’s providential purposes while being “like a drop from a bucket” and “as the dust on the scales” (Isa. 40:15). God superintends the rise and fall of nations (Isa. 40:22–24).

    Second, our identity as sojourners and exiles reminds us that historical circumstances change drastically from time to time and place to place, and thus provides a proper perspective on our own situation. In his sojourns, Abraham had to deal with both the king of Sodom and the king of Gerar, rulers of two very different cities. The former was so wicked that God made it a type of the final judgment (Gen. 19:1–29; cf. Luke 17:28–30), while Genesis 20 presents the latter as a place of surprising propriety and justice. Today God calls Christians, having no earthly homeland, to live in a variety of places and circumstances. American Christians have long enjoyed extraordinary privileges and opportunities, but Scripture never guarantees their indefinite continuance. While they continue, we should be very thankful people, especially when we consider what our fellow believers now face in Syria or North Korea, for example. How shameful it is that conservative Christians so often gripe and complain about the state of America, rather than express gratitude for having so many temporal blessings that most Christians throughout history have lacked.

    Third, our identity as sojourners and exiles reminds us of important differences between our ecclesiastical and civil associations. In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul exhorts the church to discipline an unrepentant sexually immoral person, but then immediately distinguishes ecclesiastical from civil relationships: “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler” (5:9–11). The church must maintain its merciful discipline in the midst of cultural moral change in its cities of exile—as Peter said, “as sojourners and exiles” we must “abstain from the passions of the flesh” (1 Peter 2:11)—but Christians are not therefore to shun association in civil affairs with their non-Christian neighbors who fall into such sins.

    Finally, our identity as sojourners and exiles encourages us to pursue excellence in our vocations and strive to bless our neighbors, albeit with modest expectations. Jeremiah urged the Israelite exiles to take up a variety of occupations and to seek the welfare of Babylon, while simultaneously reminding them that Babylon would remain Babylon, and that in seventy years they would leave Babylon for Jerusalem. In similar fashion, God calls New Testament Christians to work hard (1 Thess. 4:11–12; 2 Thess. 3:6–12) and to work well—for Christ’s sake (Col. 3:23), God’s glory (1 Cor. 10:31), and our neighbors’ good (Gal. 6:10), even enjoying our labor as its own reward (Eccl. 5:18–19). But God does not promise how or in what measure we will see fruit from our work. Whether the outward signs are encouraging or discouraging, and whether our ambient social ethos is improving or worsening, we labor on as faithful exiles, confident that the all-wise God will prosper the work of our hands as he sees fit.

    The author, an OP minister, is a professor at Westminster Seminary California. New Horizons, June 2015.

    Like

  281. AN,

    If you doubt his denial, you can take it up with him. I definitely didn’t want to probe the matter any further. He remembered his weird comment to me and provided a defense.

    You guys rehash stuff and it just blows up in your face over and over again. That’s what happens when facts aren’t on your side.

    How are things going, Sean??

    Like

  282. How did I get lumped back in here? I was busy doing hypermasculine things and being threatened with violence over the phone. I may have to take up Kevin’s renting policies.

    Like

  283. Appalled
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
    Dan,

    “A Secular Faith” was a bit…out there. It was not Van Drunen on 2K.

    If you were a leader in the OPC wouldn’t you seek to make very clear statements on the topic of gay marriage and, when questioned to clarify your unclear statements, wouldn’t you clarify as opposed to continuing to be purposefully unclear.

    This is what liberals do. Slippery stuff.

    Sigh. So, now it is DGH’s fault that he is not Van Drunen? All I said was that I can’t see anything he has written in his main posts that is inconsistent with his own publication history– very definitely including A Secular Faith.

    I have absolutely no idea what the OPC requires of its officers. As it purports to be Presbyterian, they have their own ways of handling this sort of thing. I am, after all, a Baptist.

    Like

  284. Cvd,

    Okay so the distinction is not that one industry provides necessary services while others do not which I had thought was your rationale.
    Not in these cases, at least. Perhaps in a case where there is only one masseuse in town (non-essential service) the owner can refuse to serve whereas the only grocery store can’t.

    “A) Emergency medical [services preserve prefers life
    Autocorrect error, sorry.

    But are the medical professionals facilitating and enabling sin by saving known sinful and immoral people?
    Sounds like murder or something similar to me- denying emergency medical care. We can’t murder people a la Nazis or Soviets.

    What if it isn’t an immediate life-and-death situation – should the medical professional still be allowed to refuse service and say “there are other nurses and doctors here” or “there are other clinics across town – please try them”?

    I think that would be generally alright. An old-fashioned GP/family doctor should be able to choose the families he gets to know and cares for over a long period of time. Lawyers too.

    “B) selling groceries to two men I have reason to think are SSMd doesn’t promote anything immoral- catering their wedding does- it spreads the scandal of SSM.”
    Aren’t you facilitating their sin by giving them food to eat and survive? What if they are waiting in line and talking about their sexual exploits or how they can’t wait to go pick up some girls or guys this weekend and get wasted with the alcohol or have a big party with the food they are buying from you?

    I’d ask them to quiet down and behave appropriately or leave. I’d give them several opportunities to improve behavior. If they didn’t conform, I’d bar them until they indicated a readiness to behave. A store owner has a responsibility to other customer not to permit scandalous behavior.

    “C) Renting an apartment admits to a community those who are hostile to its values (e.g., if the residents endorse Christian morality).”
    But this seems to just be arbitrarily grading sin or selecting which ones you’ll look out for? So known SSM couples are “bad” for the community, but people who hold grudges, gossip, are angry with or neglectful of their immediate or extended families, co-habitate or use contraception, divorced or remarried without annulment, are devout and caring muslims or mormons or hindus, etc. are fine?

    All of that can or should be taken into account as well. I addressed this in my recent reply to Jeff. Not sure why you two think I would apply this only to SSM, the issue which was under discussion.

    “I have only advocated morality-based discrimination. Race-based discrimination is an injustice.”
    Many in the past and today view racial discrimination as Christian and morality-based – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinism

    And many people have been wrong on many things in the past. The Church has never countenanced race-based moral discrimination. I believe ethnos is primarily based on logos, in any case- religion is the primary unifier in an ethnicity. Family ties, language, a shared legal framework or polis or state, proximity of social ties- all these are important determiners as well.

    All I am saying is that a position that ignores or conflates all those distinctions immediately jumps out at me as a red flag

    I agree, but I don’t have a succinct principle here other than what the Appalled Nightfly wrote very well above (although I don’t at all appreciate his scornful remark on my posts earlier- I think he was fondly hoping it would help get him back in the graces of his critics; but maybe he is just rude).

    Nevertheless, a back-and-forth like this can be productive in developing such theories. Happy to keep discussing cases.

    Like

  285. d4v34x: a. Your problem is that you keep refering to instructions given to Christians and saying they tell us to get pagans to act like Christians.

    I guess you can say that, but I think you would have a hard time showing where I said that, but that seems to be neither here nor there, sometimes here at OL

    anyway, we care foremost for brothers and we also care for ‘pagans’ –that they might come to a knowledge of the truth; if judgment begins with the household of God; what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

    Like

  286. Appalled – A problem the Old Lifers have is that there pretty much all low T (with the exception of Sean), so they stir things up and then balk when they get a strong reaction (like from Tom Van Dyke or me), because they really don’t want to summon the energy to deal with it. The answer is, just keep your head down and don’t poke hornets’ nests with sticks. If they’re really 2K and not just liberals, just shut up about it and go about your business.

    mboss – Come again?

    As to Dr. Clark and DGH, it’s possible they’re both right. DGH could be making the entirely reasonable point that Joe and Jim down the street getting hitched isn’t the existential threat to the church that some people are making it out to be. Sinful and sad? Yes. Cause for panic? No. Dr. Clark could be making the entirely reasonable point that the church is living through an increasingly hostile and intolerant climate of political correctness that could easily lead to concrete ways that the church and Christians will be threatened in the not too distant future. I wouldn’t say they’re 180 degrees apart on this issue.

    And I didn’t know theologians shouldn’t podcast with chicks.

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  287. mboss – DGH could be making the entirely reasonable point that Joe and Jim down the street getting hitched isn’t the existential threat to the church that some people are making it out to be. Sinful and sad? Yes

    Appalled – He doesn’t say its “sinful and sad”. That would be far too provincial and un-nuanced for Darryl. That’s not an Ivy League sentiment, it’s a Mid-American Conference sentiment. He says it’s nice that “Christian norms now govern gay marriage”

    And if you think they’re not 180 degrees apart, you lack reading comprehension. Clark’s to the right of me. I spent Saturday morning trying to talk him off the ledge on Twitter.

    Like

  288. sdb
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink
    TVD
    You had a great turn of phrase a while back. Something to the effect that while America may not have been a Christian nation, she provided special accommodation to it. Can you remind me what the right wording was? Also, was that your statement or were you quoting someone?

    Thx for asking. Yes it was mine, in short that for our first 200 years,

    If America wasn’t a Christian nation, it lived in deliberate accommodation with it, few ever having to choose their nation or their religion

    The courts have taken a strong turn to “strict separation” in the past few decades, and now as we see with Obama going after the Little Sisters of the Poor, we’re now in a state of open hostility and indeed open warfare against religious conscience. the government forcing us to choose one or the other.

    [A corollary is that the nation was founded on an acceptance of natural law, which of course is not in conflict with the Bible, so the accommodation of Biblical sensibilities was an easy one. It wasn’t necessary to spell out the obvious, say that marriage is between a man and a woman, and in large part for the protection of the woman and whatever children sexual relations might produce.

    But we have abolished the natural law in the public square, and as such reduced marriage to no more than sexual gratification, untethered from the reproductive function. Therefore gay marriage is the only “fair” thing to do, and by George, there it is in the Constitution!]

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  289. a.: we also care for ‘pagans’ –that they might come to a knowledge of the truth; if judgment begins with the household of God; what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

    So we proclaim the gospel. Which is different from activism (see the New Testament). One brings people to God, whom to know is life eternal. The other might get them to act a little more like people who know God, but their outcome on judgment day ends up being the same as those who obey not the gospel.

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  290. cw,
    KiNNY, are you sure about that? Were Jews a race? Check your sources.

    Jews who reject Jesus as Christ are Jews. Jews who embrace Him are Christians, and have always been accepted as such.

    Newark is in NJ not NY.

    Hope that helps.

    Like

  291. Appalled
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
    mboss – DGH could be making the entirely reasonable point that Joe and Jim down the street getting hitched isn’t the existential threat to the church that some people are making it out to be. Sinful and sad? Yes

    Appalled – He doesn’t say its “sinful and sad”. That would be far too provincial and un-nuanced for Darryl. That’s not an Ivy League sentiment, it’s a Mid-American Conference sentiment. He says it’s nice that “Christian norms now govern gay marriage”

    Man, that’s some major league genius, defending Christian morality without ever actually defending Christian morality and pissing off your liberal pals. Word up, all. This is how it’s done, how to be Christian and still keep your skirts clean.

    Appalled
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink
    Waiting to see if Muddy Gravel & Zrim have their MSNBC talking points yet on how Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of aborted babies is nothing we should be concerned about.

    But where is it in the Bible that’s wrong? Where in the Bible does it say we should get upset about it?

    Puzzled,
    Turnips for Christ

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  292. Tvd,

    Keep it up and don’t falter. It only took a week to establish Pentecost came before Galatians, and that’s in the Bible. Proof you can wring blood… from a tulip.

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  293. DGH: No matter what the higher courts decided, physician-assisted suicide is still on the books in Oregon. And the number of Americans — since we are after the 14th Amendment now citizens not of the states but of the nation — dying with the help of doctors in Oregon is growing — from 16 in 1998 to 105 last year….I wonder why more Christians have not been outraged by a federal government that allows Oregon to persist in this law.

    did anyone address this question?

    Like

  294. Kevin in Newark
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 8:49 pm | Permalink
    Tvd,

    Keep it up and don’t falter. It only took a week to establish Pentecost came before Galatians, and that’s in the Bible. Proof you can wring blood… from a tulip.

    Thx. I’ve been studying religion and the American Founding for the past 5+ years, but unfortunately events overtook the possibility of principled argument, as the courts became more aggressive and frankly Christian America as a whole knuckled under to the social shitstorm, for fear of being called “bigots,” or worse, “Christians.”

    I must admit my heart isn’t in my groupblog so much anymore

    http://americancreation.blogspot.com/

    although we all must gird our loins for this coming round of outrages, the final assault on freedom of religious conscience. I’ve decided that the real enemy is the cowardly and traitorous Christians, who don’t just stand by and do nothing, but actually help the forces who despise religion and the Bible, despise the idea of a natural moral law, and who sneer at anyone who has the guts to stand up against the flow, and who keep the undecided undecided, gutless and inert.

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  295. A,

    I wonder how someone could get legal standing to file a case which would overturn that. Someone with power of attorney to the deceased? A creditor? Or maybe a botched job resulting in a ruling that it is an ‘unsafe procedure’?

    Like

  296. a.: ACTIVISM:: a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous actions especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue

    direct vigorous action -present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect…

    The first sign of a problem is that you wrest Rom 12.1 far, far out of its context. How is this clear? Because Paul goes on to lay out what it means to renew one’s mind and prove what the will of God is. It is to love one’s neighbor within the church, according to one’s abilities (Rom 12.3ff). There is nothing there at all about getting involved in a political process, which was virtually unknown in Paul’s time anyways (outside of armed rebellion).

    The second sign of a problem is that you have to broaden the meaning of “activism” to mean “any direct, vigorous action.”

    Competitive swimming, apparently, is activism.

    What you miss is the back half of that definition: “…especially in support of or in opposition to one side of a controversial issue.”

    Everyone repeat after me:

    Living in obedience is not the same as political activism

    The first is enjoined in Scripture, in spades. The second is not enjoined anywhere.

    Like

  297. a. , I haven’t seen much ink or many pixels devoted to the Oregon outrage. Euthanasia was, though, one of the primary motivating factors behind the First Things symposium “The End of Democracy” that DGH alluded to. If you are not familiar with that episode, particularly the reaction to it on the right, it is instructive. Google is your friend.

    None of this stuff is all that new to some of us. I made my first contribution to John Whitehead’s Rutherford Fund back in the mid- 80’s. As I recall, he critiqued decisions such as Roe from both a technical constitutional law and a natural law perspective, at least in his early fund raising materials and speeches, specifically mentioning the likelihood of court approved Euthanasia.

    Like

  298. JRC: [This is a false choice:] (1) One seeks to bring Biblical ethics as norms for the common sphere, OR
    (2) One admits to not caring about righteousness.

    Kevin: Perhaps some have raised that false choice, but I’m not sure most have. Whatever the case, I think a measured approach to #1 is the way to go – and I believe Zrim, yourself, tvd, Appalled, and probably almost everyone else here present agrees with it.

    No, actually, and that’s the point. There is a #3: One uses the natural law to guide the common realm. I’m certain that’s where DGH and Zrim are.

    I’m at a somewhat different place. I think the first table of the law belongs exclusively to the church, but the second table has a 2nd-Use utility, mainly in clarifying the content of natural law. (In Reformed nomology, the 1st use of the Law is to reveal and expose sin, the 2nd is to restrain wrongdoing, and the 3rd is to guide our obedience. 1 and 2 are sometimes switched. IIRC, Aquinas has a similar categorization)

    The point of 2k, however, is one of jurisdictions. The state and church are both ordained of God. Both may do their jobs well or poorly, but they are both ordained of God. Hence, it is improper for one to intrude on the jurisdiction of the other.

    And as a practical matter — and here, a Roman Catholic who knows his history cannot help but agree — if the two try to overlap their jurisdictions, there inevitably follows corruption in the wake.

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  299. (A different) Dan
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink
    a. , I haven’t seen much ink or many pixels devoted to the Oregon outrage. Euthanasia was, though, one of the primary motivating factors behind the First Things symposium “The End of Democracy” that DGH alluded to. If you are not familiar with that episode, particularly the reaction to it on the right, it is instructive. Google is your friend.

    Google also the EXIT euthanasia group in Switzerland, and most appalling, “euthanizing” children and the mentally depressed in the Netherlands.

    The final outrages are just beginning, folks, a return to barbarism in the name of progress. Let’s not get caught flat-footed this time. Read. Think. Study.

    Pray. Then speak. Speak out. this much, any of us can do.

    Dutch Ethicist, Theo Boer, used to believe that “slippery slope” arguments were invalid and argued in support of assisted suicide legislation; but now he has a very different view.

    He said, “I used to be a supporter of legislation. But now, with twelve years of experience, I take a different view. At the very least, wait for an honest and intellectually satisfying analysis of the reasons behind the explosive increase in the numbers. Is it because the law should have had better safeguards? Or is it because the mere existence of such a law is an invitation to see assisted suicide and euthanasia as a normality instead of a last resort? Before those questions are answered, don’t go there. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely to ever go back in again.”

    http://www.lifenews.com/2015/01/02/doctors-euthanize-650-babies-under-assisted-suicide-law-in-the-netherlands/

    Like

  300. Once upon a time a novice young man got religion and became a real fanboi of ScoldLife.
    Then again, he got religion again and became a scorner.
    In between, he counseled another born again convert of sorts, one Jase Stellerman, to calm down, shut up and not make an ass of himself in public on the internet.

    Moral of the story: Grow up, pay for your own crayons and shut up in the meantime until you can follow your own directions.

    I am not a fan of all that OL espouses by any means. At times I think playing the devil’s idiot lapses into outrageous stupidity.
    But then again the stated purpose of the bwog is to fire people up.
    (And boy do they get fired up.)

    That said, it would be nice if politics got out of the church. I don’t really care to hear off the pulpit that NMandela was a great man or that we need to be concerned about the “War on Terror” or ISIS (a group funded, if not provoked by American foreign policy or lack there of a coherent version imo). Modern media is the electronic version of Plato’s cave and is not driving the agenda or the public prayer.

    We know abortion is wrong; how we are to vote – Dim, Repug or not is a different question. That is the point of 2k. We are not to judge those outside of the church 1 Cor.5 but the civil magistrate can know and reward the good. Church/state.

    Which is not to say 2kers can’t get tied up looking over their shoulders at the RRight, all the while ignoring the atheists who for all practical purposes think the state is the church.
    Which is what’s going on here, again imo.
    Correct big picture, wrong application.
    FWIW

    Like

  301. Catholicus Von Devious.
    Get a dictionary and tell me what the definition of “all” is, as in the “every/all good works” that Scripture equips the man of God unto 2 Tim. 3:17.
    (You know, “all” the word which somehow got left out of the quote in your reply.)

    Hint, since “all” covers all the bases, yeah there could be alternatives to Scripture that repeat it, but then that would Obviously mean they are redundant i.e. UnNecessary.
    I know, a novel concept in your neck of the woods, but you need to get out more often.

    Whether in a dream, vision, spoken or on a page, it’s all the inspired Word of God,
    But since we don’t have the apostles and the signs and wonders that accompanied their ministries and bridged the transition from oral to written in the NT era, guess what?
    We are left with the infallible, perspicuous and sufficient Bible.
    Which is why Rome again claims the apostolic chrism and miracles for herself in an effort to add unto the canon of Scripture, NT and OT.
    In direct contradiction to Scripture.

    Neither have any of our amateur papists been able to tell us how we are to know they are the correct traditions, since the lost apostolic oral traditions are lost, much more that Rome according to the same is the last word on the same.
    Vicious. Circular. Confusion.

    Rome, along with Islam, and Joseph Smith make claims for their additions to Scripture that contradict Scripture in that Scripture is sufficient and the canon is closed.
    True, Rome didn’t get around to authoritatively verifying the last until Trent, but the early church is not the Roman church and the Word of God is living and active, not a dead letter like Called to Confusion would have us believe. Ultimately tradition doesn’t tell us what is Scripture, the Holy Spirit does.

    Besides, which of the 3Ms are you gonna believe? Rome’s magisterium, mohammed and Mormonism all claim inspiration for their additions to Scripture supposedly taught in Scripture, but really, obviously contrary to Scripture. (The Immaculate Deception Assumption for one two.)

    Rev. 22:18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

    Matt. 23:13  But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

    Like

  302. Tom,

    although we all must gird our loins for this coming round of outrages, the final assault on freedom of religious conscience. I’ve decided that the real enemy is the cowardly and traitorous Christians, who don’t just stand by and do nothing, but actually help the forces who despise religion and the Bible, despise the idea of a natural moral law, and who sneer at anyone who has the guts to stand up against the flow, and who keep the undecided undecided, gutless and inert.

    And what do you plan to do with your enemies sir? I think it’s actually quite easy to stir up moral outrage, and so very much harder to understand what can and cannot be done about it. I am personally convinced that conservative Christians in the West of any sort of stripe (Prot or Catholic) have been fighting against the tide of history, seeing their culture go to hell in a hand basket in the modern era and trying to figure out what can be done about it. So the war drums have been beating over one cause or another for over a century, and we have only lost cultural ground, being continually marginalized by the historical moment that has little use for our beliefs.

    I know you don’t like this Tom, but 2k in all its flavors is an attempt to address this very problem. For the first time since pre-Constantinian Christianity, the church in the modern era is loosing ground to the culture, and whereas they were gaining cultural momentum in fits and starts, we are loosing it slowly and steadily. Those concerned with the orthodoxy of their Christian traditions find themselves more and more on the outside of culture looking in, loosing legal and political clout to stem the tide. I also agree with some of the more cynical sentiment that this could put conservative Christians in a real bad way in the days to come. The glaring fact of the matter is none of this has happened outside the Providence of God, if he wanted it to be different, it would be so. It is for us here, on the ground without insight into the mysterious workings of Providence who must figure out what we must do as a result with an understanding of both our limitations and our own fallibility.

    I am of the opinion that the culture in the West broadly will probably continue its slide to the most absurd manifestations of individualism and progressivism can concoct no matter how much or how loudly we protest. Caitlyn Jenner will be hailed as a hero, blurring our understanding of not only gender but of heroism, and weirder stuff I am sure is coming down the pipeline. My concern, and that I think of many who sympathize with the 2k POV, is not to stop the downward lurch of culture, but to be faithful as a church in understanding that our calling as the Body of Christ is spiritual, and we are to be stewards and witnesses to that spiritual calling. Let the world have it’s depraved vision of marriage, but let those that belong to the church model what God’s grace looks like in marriage (between a man and a woman) and the family that proceeds from that marriage. As abominable as abortion is, I don’t think the church can eliminate it, but let us be caring parents who choose life for our own, and seek any and every opportunity to prevent any abortion we can by presenting alternatives to young women who feel like they have no other choice.

    I could go on and on with examples here Tom, but I am convinced that if Christians spent 1/10th of the energy they do on moral outrage over the current cultural and political situation that they could simply in being faithful to the vocations and stations in life God has called them to, we’d probably do more good in the culture. Is gay marriage wrong? Yes. Is abortion wrong? Yes. Nobody here that I know would say anything to the contrary, but how we approach these matters in the broader culture is a) a byproduct of our own personal consciences and b) may or may not be a good use of our time as we seek to be faithful to our own callings.

    So what if Darryl, Muddy, or Zrim don’t think the sky is falling over the recent Supreme Court ruling? By their presence on the Lord’s Day in worship, they are lodging their protest against the world and it’s fallen system, and eagerly awaiting the return of Christ to make all things new; by passing this on in their families, strengthening bonds within their churches, and serving as appropriate witnesses to the testimony of Jesus they participate in the bringing in of the Kingdom of God. I know it isn’t sexy, doesn’t get the press, and won’t rile up the constituency, but generation in and generation out that is how Christ built his Church and will do so until he returns.

    So, I’ll ask you again – are they really the enemy?

    Like

  303. Erik,

    For those of us who have been here commenting for years before you came on the scene, it’s hard not to watch this bizzare scenario and scratch our heads. Whatever your realization about 2k commenters here entailed, it’s awfully hard to separate this from what looks like wounded pride on your part. I don’t defend or condemn the actions of any of the guys you have interacted with here or outside of here, and I don’t doubt that they might have done you wrong in some way, people can sin, screw up, and let us down in a million different ways. That is immaterial to my contention here –

    You got called out over your your aggressive and prolific commenting by Darryl and others here (me included) who at the time at least were on the same ideological page as you. Instead of simply taking the cue, and turning it down a notch or two, you opted for the nuclear option and started going after people personally – and haven’t really stopped even after your realization, or reformation, or whatever it was. This could have all been prevented if you could simply have checked yourself, and said maybe I have gone too far with this. Instead it was a study in deflection as you went after the guys here, starting with Darryl and going on down the list.

    Only after this did your big “wake-up” happen, and all you proved is that you can change ideas like hats and still snarl and gristle, and go way personal on anyone you happen to disagree with. Erik’s the same Erik he always been here at Old Life (which is the only place I know you), only his ideological jersey has changed. You’re still the same guy – you are capable of some valuable and keen insight, but you can’t get out of your own way because of how often you escalate disagreements that are supposed to be about the ideas not the individuals who hold them, but you keep going personal. Like I said, the only Erik I know comments at Old Life, and I don’t have any insight into who you are away from here and I am not speaking to that.

    I am simply asking you that aside from the sort of banter that always passes here (pot-shots, calling people funny names, and other stuff that shows that we never quite outgrow our inner 8 year old), can you stop going after guys personally here? Can you stop bringing in discussions you have had with guys outside of the combox just to settle whatever score needs settling? It’s made a soap opera of this combox that it was never intended to be – and it’s made it difficult for those of us who simply like to pass a little time enjoying discussion and debate over these matters. It’s kind of sucks even typing this out. This is the only time I’ll comment on this here on a public forum. If you feel like I have slighted you or have grossly misrepresented you in some way, I think you have my e-mail, I’ll hear you out as open minded as I can.

    Like

  304. The disappointment in someone failing to give wise counsel when needed, or the complete betrayal of trust that someone relied upon from a brother in the Lord, is very painful.

    Worse than the sting of a million who shake their first at God.

    Like

  305. Jed Paschall
    Posted July 16, 2015 at 2:16 am | Permalink
    Tom,

    although we all must gird our loins for this coming round of outrages, the final assault on freedom of religious conscience. I’ve decided that the real enemy is the cowardly and traitorous Christians, who don’t just stand by and do nothing, but actually help the forces who despise religion and the Bible, despise the idea of a natural moral law, and who sneer at anyone who has the guts to stand up against the flow, and who keep the undecided undecided, gutless and inert.

    And what do you plan to do with your enemies sir? I think it’s actually quite easy to stir up moral outrage, and so very much harder to understand what can and cannot be done about it. I am personally convinced that conservative Christians in the West of any sort of stripe (Prot or Catholic) have been fighting against the tide of history, seeing their culture go to hell in a hand basket in the modern era and trying to figure out what can be done about it. So the war drums have been beating over one cause or another for over a century, and we have only lost cultural ground, being continually marginalized by the historical moment that has little use for our beliefs.

    I know you don’t like this Tom, but 2k in all its flavors is an attempt to address this very problem. For the first time since pre-Constantinian Christianity, the church in the modern era is loosing ground to the culture, and whereas they were gaining cultural momentum in fits and starts, we are loosing it slowly and steadily. Those concerned with the orthodoxy of their Christian traditions find themselves more and more on the outside of culture looking in, loosing legal and political clout to stem the tide. I also agree with some of the more cynical sentiment that this could put conservative Christians in a real bad way in the days to come. The glaring fact of the matter is none of this has happened outside the Providence of God, if he wanted it to be different, it would be so. It is for us here, on the ground without insight into the mysterious workings of Providence who must figure out what we must do as a result with an understanding of both our limitations and our own fallibility.

    I am of the opinion that the culture in the West broadly will probably continue its slide to the most absurd manifestations of individualism and progressivism can concoct no matter how much or how loudly we protest. Caitlyn Jenner will be hailed as a hero, blurring our understanding of not only gender but of heroism, and weirder stuff I am sure is coming down the pipeline. My concern, and that I think of many who sympathize with the 2k POV, is not to stop the downward lurch of culture, but to be faithful as a church in understanding that our calling as the Body of Christ is spiritual, and we are to be stewards and witnesses to that spiritual calling. Let the world have it’s depraved vision of marriage, but let those that belong to the church model what God’s grace looks like in marriage (between a man and a woman) and the family that proceeds from that marriage. As abominable as abortion is, I don’t think the church can eliminate it, but let us be caring parents who choose life for our own, and seek any and every opportunity to prevent any abortion we can by presenting alternatives to young women who feel like they have no other choice.

    I could go on and on with examples here Tom, but I am convinced that if Christians spent 1/10th of the energy they do on moral outrage over the current cultural and political situation that they could simply in being faithful to the vocations and stations in life God has called them to, we’d probably do more good in the culture. Is gay marriage wrong? Yes. Is abortion wrong? Yes. Nobody here that I know would say anything to the contrary, but how we approach these matters in the broader culture is a) a byproduct of our own personal consciences and b) may or may not be a good use of our time as we seek to be faithful to our own callings.

    So what if Darryl, Muddy, or Zrim don’t think the sky is falling over the recent Supreme Court ruling? By their presence on the Lord’s Day in worship, they are lodging their protest against the world and it’s fallen system, and eagerly awaiting the return of Christ to make all things new; by passing this on in their families, strengthening bonds within their churches, and serving as appropriate witnesses to the testimony of Jesus they participate in the bringing in of the Kingdom of God. I know it isn’t sexy, doesn’t get the press, and won’t rile up the constituency, but generation in and generation out that is how Christ built his Church and will do so until he returns.

    So, I’ll ask you again – are they really the enemy?

    Yes, you are. I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one at my back.–George Patton, more or less. Did you get that one?

    This “Radical Two Kingdoms” theology is moral cowardice writ large, and worse, is evangelical, contagious. Shooting Billy Graham in the back then saying “Christian norms now govern gay marriage”?

    What went wrong with the sense God gave you?

    The largest Presbyterian church in the United States isn’t just gutlessly sitting out the debasement of the natural law–it’s ordaining “lesbian marriage” as ministers in the church.

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Lesbian-Couple-Ordained-Jointly-in-Presbyterian-Church-Delaware-297184461.html

    They have no problem with debasing the Presbyterian religion. What are you doing? Nothing, of course. Forget the USA, and the moral sewer your children are about to grow up in. Your whole argument is in defense of doing nothing.

    If you can’t stand up to defend your own religion, what better should we expect of you about anything else?

    I expect nothing from you, brother. And that’s what you’ve given us, brother, in spades.

    Like

  306. Bob S
    Posted July 16, 2015 at 1:19 am | Permalink
    Once upon a time a novice young man got religion and became a real fanboi of ScoldLife.
    Then again, he got religion again and became a scorner

    Actually, the gentleman learned to scorn the scorn. The scales fell from his eyes. Good for him. He’s kicking scornful ass with passion and sincerity.

    [ScoldLife is funny, though, Bob, and not an insult atall–I get your meaning. Good one, although scolding is too damn accurate: You can’t build a religion on scolding another one. In the end, you just scold each other for ever and ever amen.]

    Like

  307. Everyone repeat after me:

    Living in obedience is not the same as political activism

    The first is enjoined in Scripture, in spades. The second is not enjoined anywhere.>>>>

    Where is political activism prohibited?

    I am sure you know that the Old Testament prophets were quite politically active. Sometimes their activity even got them into big trouble.

    The 2K position comes dangerously close to making a prohibition where the Bible makes none. It is as if the 2Kers believe that the Bible tells us not to get involved in politics at all. As far as the effect you may have on culture you may as well be Amish.

    Luke 13:34
    O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

    Like

  308. Tom, please do not accept that people speaking authoritatively on behalf of a religious system are exhaustively capturing the application of the faith in the real daily lives of believers.

    I know you know how empty it can be when we do it to other systems.

    Like

  309. Tom,

    How did Jesus oppose the evil of his day? The apostles? Anyone in the NT? You understand that Peter and Paul told Christians to submit to the very Emperor that would crucify and behead them respectively? If God was in such a hot hurry to solve the worlds problems, don’t you think he would have already.

    Oh, I get it, he’s just been in heaven twiddling his thumbs until 2015 when finally a few brave souls would finally step up and set things aright. I am all for engaging in politics, its a perfectly responsible thing to do, but I have no illusions whatsoever that history is a byproduct of great men – it’s a current that sweeps us all, and we aren’t going to divert the flow now – the critical mass of momentum is already pretty darn close to terminal. Being faithful is hard enough without the added pressure of altering history.

    Like

  310. @ MW:

    And here’s where we have to think very carefully, especially including Tom, who is very far off in the weeds.

    There is no prohibition whatsoever against political activism.

    If you go back and look carefully, I have never said a cross word against activists. When I talked about disagreeing with Abby Johnson, I did not fault her activism.

    So what’s the beef? It’s two-fold:

    (1) Political activists should act as individuals carrying out their common calling. They should not rope the church as an institution into their causes.

    Reasons: jurisdiction, binding of conscience, mission of the church.

    (2) Political activists would do better to appeal to natural law, and in particular should not wrap their causes in the label “Christian”

    Reasons: politics involves compromise, involves seeking allies (who might not be Christian), politics involves ways-and-means (which particulars might not be commanded in Scripture)

    All of which to say is this: Activism is not enjoined in Scripture. It is permissible, but not mandatory.

    Like

  311. Jed,

    I know it hurts you to learn your 2k idols are phonies. Sorry.

    I’ll speak the truth about these guys as long as I’m able (and motivated). If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

    They know where they dropped the ball and they know how to fix it. To a man, it’s their pride that won’t let them.

    As long as they continue to spout out pious advice here on how Christians should live their (2k) lives, I’ll call them out as phonies.

    Darryl the non-censor will censor me when he gets back from wherever he’s at, though, you might get your wish that way.

    In the end you’re just a naive, uninformed guy with an opinion, so get in line.

    Like

  312. Jed,

    Note that the one guy I never give crap to is Kent. He knows what went down and fully understands the implications of it. Learn from him. You’re a fan of the wrong guys.

    Like

  313. Jasitek,
    It’s very simple. The Pope, without offering a solution, has said where our way of life and economy is sin and thus is wrong. He has presented the Christian solution in terms of what precise economic system we should follow. Instead, he has said most of what is wrong with what we are doing now. Because he is calling us to repent from that, he is speaking prophetically.

    Like

  314. Note how little Scripture is ever referred to by those making the 2k case. This is a philosophy of men who don’t want to get their hands dirty. Pontius Pilate is the patron saint.

    What Scripture teaches us is to do what we can while we have breath and to leave the results to God – whether that’s offering a cup of cold water, helping an injured man by the road, or using our talents vs. burying them.

    2k is a philosophy for bored, disillusioned, and ultimately, cowardly men who want the approval of their peers. This is where my personal experience was relevant. A guy broke a trust and committed a cowardly act. Rather than confess and seek forgiveness, he hid and let others reputations be sullied. Finally when he came clean he did not apologize or admit fault. His allies, also being small men and cowards, did not rebuke him or speak the truth to him, but rather reviled me, as they had throughout the situation.

    Cowardice is the common thread. Liberalism is cowardice.

    Like

  315. I had earlier commented that Zrim apologized to Erik. That was incorrect.

    Here’s my understanding of what happened. First, Erik said something about another man’s marriage being shaky/on the rocks/ something to that effect. This was Erik’s gossip and sin. Not David/Bathsheba sin mind you, but sin it was. Then Z asked the man if it was true. Well, it wasn’t true and Z told the man that Erik was the source of the gossip.

    Sorry, but Z did not sin. He is not compelled to apologize. Erik’s feelings are not the law of God.

    On the whole, this is really small potatoes. Erik has not handled this well (he said with understatement.)

    Like

  316. Mrs. W: Where is political activism prohibited?

    Ah, isn’t that the Catholic way?

    Where is/are confession/indulgences/inquisitions/mariolatry/incense swinging/insert any of a hundred other Catholic inventions here prohibited?

    Like

  317. To clarify, Mrs. W, the point we’ve been making is that activism is nowhere mandated, but lots of Prots act and talk like it is. Making nearly the opposite error of the one you charge us with, namely, if it isn’t prohibited, it must be mandated.

    Like

  318. But I see now that Jeff said all that better than I did, so hear him, at least.

    Also, do you think we can carry over from Israel, a theocratic monarchy in which the kings were supposed to inquire of the Lord via the prophets, to our democratic republic which shall have no established religion? How does that work?

    Like

  319. Just one more thing (I wish).

    Erik, I think you know how to contact the Sessions of all the men you have accused of various things. If you have accused falsely, to what Session are you accountable?

    Like

  320. Wow, talk about not handling things well.

    What you now piously call gossip is what you and Zrim willingly participated in on a daily basis for a year. About guys here, about NAPARC church officers, about people under your care in your church, about all kinds of people.

    It was ugly, but at no time did the rules of the game entail taking things outside the sordid, little group. I’ve never said what Zrim did was sin, I said it was cowardice. We were all sinning, me included.

    I have no problem exposing the entire ugly mess because I’m out of it. You guys are still in it.

    And how dumb are you repeating the rumor and dredging the victim’s name through the mud needlessly? Are you o.k.?

    Like

  321. Muddy,

    I have filed a lengthy complaint with Darryl’s Presbytery over Old Life.

    As for the rest of you, you don’t even use your real names and never have so I don’t see you seeking accountability from anyone for your activities here, nor do I particularly want to take the time and effort to hold you accountable off of Old Life. I’m content to let problems that arose on Old Life be settled on Old Life. If you can’t take that heat to your fake identity, maybe just step away.

    You know where to reach my Consistory so don’t play dumb. I’m still a member. I suspect what you would get is eye-rolling and an admonition that “you all deserve each other”. I know you are bluffing, but do what you want. Think about it: for years here I did business under my real name, you guys did not. Who has more to hide?

    Like

  322. Jeff Cagle: Living in obedience is not the same as political activism

    Jeff – you might have missed my point. Don’t think I made any statement about political activism. While it seemed we could be on some common ground of basics at a blog “reformed faith and practice’.; that’ s not always so clear here; so I was just stepping back and sharing reminder of ‘a living sacrifice’ – a term which could be quite convicting if one let the Spirit get His way.
    Another basic is that we believers actually believe Jesus and agree that righteousness truly is the desirable path, what His calls a peaceful fruit – not something we mock and disdain; also one thing Kevin might have been getting at about the goal of his rental policy ideas.

    Like

  323. Muddy,

    I’ll say this one time. You use my name once more and henceforth every referral to you, Chortles, Sean, Zrim will be full first and last names. Not screen names. You panic and play dirty. You must be awful in court.

    Like

  324. More 2k relevance.

    Muddy’s hairsplitting over what is or is not sin is so typical of the pharasaical 2k way of thinking that (surprise) always leaves the 2k proponent with clean hands.

    Right or wrong I trusted a group of Presbyterian and Reformed men for a year and shared intimate details of my life, my work, my faith, my family, my relationships — and they did likewise. On a daily basis with sometimes as many as a hundred e-mails a day going back-and-forth.

    Now a reasonable man with common sense, probably even an unbeliever, would agree that breaking that trust was wrong, even if all the topics of discussion were not all right.

    Not a 2k man, though. As always a 2k man can twist things so the other guy is wrong and he comes off smelling like a rose. Yet another example of how ugly and twisted this philosophy is at its root.

    Like

  325. a 2k man can twist things so the other guy is wrong and he comes off smelling like a rose

    Assuming you’ve met other humans, you should know that this is not peculiar to 2K types.

    Like

  326. A good many of us were not involved in the personal dealings discussed here. There might be a time and place to hash this dispute out like Christian men should. I suggest that this isn’t the place. Obviously this dispute has gone personal, it’s best to handle these matters personally, not publicly.

    Like

  327. Jed,

    Attempts have been made and continue to be made. When all you get is stubborn obstinacy you take it public in an attempt to warn others.

    An offer is on the table to make me go away, but it entails swallowing some pride and admitting some fault. 2k men are some of the most prideful men in all of Christendom.

    Like

  328. The only pride we can control is our own. How you doing there? I don’t know and don’t want to know the inner workings of your relationships with commenters outside of here, it is none of my business. But, is salting the fields and poisoning the well for the rest of us who had no involvement prudent? I am ok with your rejection of 2k, if that’s what you felt in your own conscience you had to do, fine. I welcome the discussion over that even though we won’t agree. But, again I am asking you for the sake of all who weren’t involved in these outside discussions, keep them outside of here most of this is between you and the guys you were involved with anyway.

    Like

  329. Jed,

    You make fair points. Consider that I consider my salting the fields to be an act of charity, though. I think the leaders of the 2k movement are deceived at best and dangerous to the faith at worst. I don’t want to see young guys like you get caught up in that like I did.

    Make no mistake, the inner circle has cult-like elements to it.

    I have no desire to continue on with this, though, even though I perhaps should. I’m only one guy. Others will need to get burned, see it for themselves, and come out the wiser for it. That’s life.

    Like

  330. I get it, but there are better ways of opposition than going after one’s character here, even if you think lowly of the character of some of the commenters here. There’s an inner circle to about every movement and school of thought, and because of the human component they can have a dark underside, so I am not shocked or dismayed. I see most of these as an outworking of interpersonal problems.

    I would also venture to say that your problems beyond the personal disputes are not with 2k in general (as outlined and defended by scholars like DVD, Horton, RSC, et.al., rather by it’s particular expression here. Before you became a fixture here I did lock horns with Zrim and Darryl over substantive applications of 2k when it comes to the matters you are discussing even now (slavery in the Confederacy, abortion, Christians in political Revolutions, etc.), we haven’t rehashed these discussions, but there is areas where we all differ on matters of conscience and application of shared ideological convictions.

    As a 36 year old man in my own right, I don’t think I was somehow duped by DGH or anyone else, I am a big boy and can think for myself, as are the other commenters here (some being grown women). I get you feel the need to oppose certain ideas you see as crossing the line, but I don’t think you need to protect others in a way that drags the personal lives of other commenters (who would prefer to keep those personal) out into an open forum. Attack away at the ideas – that’s absolutely fair game, and even if there’s disagreement it can be an intellectually fruitful process for all involved. I am just saying keep the personal stuff personal as much as possible.

    Like

  331. Appalled,
    You know me and Andrew had a good connection. It was he who told me to come hangout over here three years ago and he is to my understanding in the 2k camp and looks up to Hart a lot. I do agree that there had been a change in how he interacted with the debating here though once I recently got back. Anyway I am glad he has some peace from OL right now. He seemed to be heavily burdened by it. Hard to shoulder the theological blogosphere on one set of shoulders.

    Like

  332. TVD, my reasons for pointing to the contretemps that followed the publication of the First Things symposium were twofold:

    (1) Even among conservatives who were favorably inclined to a natural law critique of the judiciary, there was a furious push back at the mere suggestion of concrete measures such as civil disobedience and resistance to the regime (the mere use of that word was provocative to the faint of heart, reminiscent as it was of the New Left that had driven many of them to the right in the first place).

    (2) Many among the conservatively inclined chattering class took the occasion to express profound disagreement with the whole idea of a return to natural law as a way forward in 20th century America.

    If there was any consensus among those of us on the right as to the way out of this mess, then your jihad against the relative handful of proponents of 2k theology might at least be relevant. The lack of even the hint of such a consensus, clearly evident many years ago, can hardly be blamed on DGH or the commenters here.

    Like

  333. Erik,

    I echo Jed’s thoughts. For your sake, I urge you to handle matters properly, either privately or through church courts. The ongoing complaints and accusations will not end with peace for you, no matter what the outcome.

    As an example: Until this page of comments, I did not know and did not want to know what the specific offense was or who the specific offender was. To the extent that you felt embarrassed by Zrim’s revelation, that embarrassment was amplified here because you made it known to a larger audience.

    Please, please, let the matter drop, or pursue it in a biblical manner. I’m not asking you to go away, but rather to put away your anger.

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  334. Jed and Jeff, thanks for jumping in without all sides of the issue.

    Job couldn’t have asked for better counsel.

    Like

  335. In other news, I hope you are all basking in the warmth of Caitlyn’s courage this morning. Heck, if I knew a few turns of the scalpel could make me more courageous than a Purple Heart Army vet, and a brave young cancer victim, and get me one of those fancy trophies I might have considered under the knife. Of course I’d probably not opt for a sex-change, something even more corageous, since I no longer identify as human, I am going full KLINGON.

    Live long and prosper muchacos, I’ll collect my trophy next year at the Intergalactic Dork Commission Awards Show, AKA the Dorkies.

    Like

  336. Jeff,
    JRC: [This is a false choice:]
    (1) One seeks to bring Biblical ethics as norms for the common sphere, OR
    (2) One admits to not caring about righteousness. […]
    #3: One uses the natural law to guide the common realm. [Zrim & DGH]
    [#4?] I’m at a somewhat different place. I think the first table of the law belongs exclusively to the church, but the second table has a 2nd-Use utility, mainly in clarifying the content of natural law.

    I stand corrected, and appreciate seeing the distinction drawn. Let me be sure I understand. So you’ve actually laid out a total of 4 distinct positions?

    Do you draw any essential and significant distinction in the definition of natural law from, say, the Thomistic tradition?

    The natural law applies to both the Church and the non-Christian realm? Or the law given to the Church somehow supercedes?

    So non-Christians have no moral obligation to hold the faith and worship God? I suppose that could be consistent with their being predetermined to damnation. I wonder then what would be the grounds of their damnation if failure to hold the faith is not an obligation. God saves and damns (&/or lets be saved, lets be damned, but with all foreordained) who he pleases, but I would want to probe this a bit.

    [uses of the law] – can you point me to a source that expands on this? Perhaps ideally a thomistic treatment from someone who is Reformed?

    The point of 2k, however, is one of jurisdictions. The state and church are both ordained of God. Both may do their jobs well or poorly, but they are both ordained of God. Hence, it is improper for one to intrude on the jurisdiction of the other.

    Theology can’t be voted on, a court can’t redefine marriage, religious leaders shouldn’t be selected by the state; ecclesiastical leaders should be spending their time on ecclesiastical issues, not running a government. Dual office-holding is generally a bad idea. Particular historical circumstances can complicate this- emergency measures, etc. (a bit like the post 2008 gov bailouts and corporate stock purchases).

    Before anyone jumps on me, though (the mockery gets old fast)- why such passion on the issue? Is it that big a problem if a group of monks run a brewery, owns farms and hires tenants, or even hires guards to protect the property from theft? I just don’t see this as an issue of fundamental importance, even if I might (or might not) concede other ways of doing things might be better for society and the salvation of souls.

    And as a practical matter — and here, a Roman Catholic who knows his history cannot help but agree — if the two try to overlap their jurisdictions, there inevitably follows corruption in the wake.

    Well, maybe. My vision of Church & State is a bit different- all of mankind stands in an essentially similar relation to God, although quite few perhaps take advantage of (or are selected via) God’s offer. I would argue Church and State cooperate in helping man fulfill his God-given nature and ultimate destiny, preparing man for a virtuous life in this world and (ideally) everlasting bliss in the next.

    There are of course important distinctions to be drawn in terms of the roles appropriate to each – but how is the State in a unique position as far as this goes, as compared to other social institutions from the family to businesses? I think these each have particular roles to play which provide a moral framework to practice virtue, and protect the more fundamental role of Christian worship.

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  337. The side of 2K that isn’t broadcasted consists of encouragement for real people that you actually are making eye contact with.

    Agreeing with someone that it is a bad thing that the universe is unfair, that the government probably isn’t going to enforce the first table of the Ten Commandments to your level of satisfaction, that money is a major pursuit and tramples on little people. But also noting that’s not a reason to do less than your best on that thermodynamics exam for a course that has been giving you the biggest academic challenge in your life.

    The giving and receiving of quiet and wise counsel of very decent and concerned people, some of them would be considered total losers by the world (and sometimes they look at me with pity), is what makes it click.

    Along with Word and Sacrament and acceptance of discipline.

    Just sayin’

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  338. Not a problem, Sean. Just checking in. I wouldn’t have time to reply today or anything anyway. I’m in your town right now. Headed to Spashtown with my crew today.

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  339. “So, I’ll ask you again – are they really the enemy?”
    Jeff, I think this is the crucial question. In the OT, it seems that moral laxity was preceded by problems with proper worship. Since worshiping God rightly is one of our most important duties, it seems to me to be critical to get this right.

    In the NT, Paul (and the other writers) are quite clear that moral behavior is crucial. But not just personally, but as a group – so that Paul instructs to church to “have nothing to do with the sexually immoral”. Church discipline up to and including shunning errant members is crucial. Seeking moral purity really matters. However, Paul goes on to say that when he said to shun the sexually immoral, he did not mean those outside of the church. Church discipline does not apply to the heathen.

    Further, while there are moral absolutes, not every moral issue has an absolute answer. Is it sinful to buy meat sacrificed to idols and thus subsidize idolatry? It is if it violates your conscience, but it isn’t sinful if you aren’t causing a brother to stumble and your conscience is clear.

    Those who do not know Christ do not need to become more moral people. The problem with the man in a same-sex relationship is not that he is having sinful sexual relations. The problem with the woman who aborted her baby is not that she killed a human being. The problem with the genocidal maniac who killed thousands isn’t that he is a murderer. The problem is that these people are spiritually dead and separated from God. They need the gospel. But even if they reject the gospel, we still have to live with them (peacefully insofar as it depends on us) and we need to work with our hands and mind our business so that we aren’t a burden.

    Our goal should not make more whitewashed tombs so that we can experience personal peace and prosperity. Our goals should be to worship God rightly, pass along our faith to our kids, and be ready to give an account of our hope to those around us. But in doing so we also have temporal concerns and in our own day we aren’t just subjects, we are citizens with a voice. But how best to use that voice is a prudential question that we can (and should!) debate with the realization that disagreement does not necessarily constitute sin. Further, the church’s job is prescribed – preach the gospel, administer the sacraments, apply discipline. On common matters, where it has no jurisdiction the church should remain silent.

    That doesn’t mean that her members shouldn’t attend school board meetings, run for political office, campaign, write their representative, contribute to a PAC, etc… It does mean that there is wide latitude for Christians to remain members in good standing and hold widely divergent views about what issues are most important, which can be compromised on, and how involved one should be. Thinking that advocating for a total ban on abortion would be imprudent is not necessarily cowardice (and frankly in some circles it takes quite a bit of guts to suggest that such a ban would be imprudent). One may disagree with Misty Iron’s suggestion that ssm should be supported by Christians, but it would be foolish to call her view cowardly. Thinking that one has more important responsibilities than fighting a public war against ssm or that doing so is no prudent is not sinful. This is the essence of 2k.

    However, we in P&R and evangelical churches face a different problem that I believe has been exacerbated by the push for cultural relevance generally (and a push for political engagement in particular). Namely, we have lost our way and become remarkably worldly. In doing so we have jettisoned core biblical values while holding onto a emaciated list of “essentials”. The big Southern Baptist church in our state was playing Lynyrd Skynyrd prior to the start of worship. At a PCA church I attended in Arizona, the pastor read the “Thank A Soldier” as part of the Sunday morning worship service (it isn’t the minister who gave you freedom of religion, it is the soldier). Wondering why we don’t sing Psalms in my southern PCA church, the response was, “Your not one of those TR (truly-reformed) are you?”. As far as I can tell, in my PCA church, sabbath observance is broadly seen as an anachronism (insofar as it extends beyond going to church Sunday morning). Now you might ask, who care about singing Psalms and Sabbath observance? These were really crucial elements of P&R churches just two generations ago, and they’re gone. We are basically where the mainline was 100yrs ago (and RC parishes aren’t in better shape).

    Modernism is a corrosive acid eating away at the Church. The answer is not to be a conservative modernist, the question is how to reform our practices so that we get the most important things right even if they make us culturally irrelevant. Insofar as we are committed to being culture-making creatives. Agents of change in our sphere, etc…. we are asking the wrong question and our churches will continue to grow ever more worldly while they dwindle.

    Conservative prots are proud at how they have held steady relative to mainline and RC churches, but this pride is misplaced. We are largely absorbing refugees from there while losing our kids at alarming rates. Raising the bar to church membership and saying that in addition to believing the gospel you have stop being a democrat or politically liberal is wrong in my estimation.

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  340. sdb,

    Well said. I began to make the move to Reformed churches in ’08-09, even before I knew what 2k was or was aware of the broader rifts in the community, I had read Misty Irons and came to basically the same conclusion. By ’09 2k had given the linguistic and conceptual format that seemed to comport with my understanding of biblical ethics. I wrote this up back in 2009:

    Rethinking Proposition 8

    Even then there wasn’t consensus amongst 2kers on how to proceed, as evidenced by RubeRad’s comments (speaking of what happened to him?). As I recall, I know of no-one else outside Misty Irons who had taken that position publicly. 6 years later I might revise certain things, but substantially I stand by this position still.

    The reason why I think 2k is right is because I think it comports with what the New Testament teaches about the Christian’s duties to the two kingdoms – how they overlap and how they depart from each-other.

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  341. Mboss,

    Exactly. One of the things I am asking Darryl’s Presbytery for is that all commenters must provide real names and church memberships (if applicable). Hello accountability, goodbye habitual 9th commandment violations.

    Now they’ll probably reject that, but, guess what? It’s on their conscience and not mine from that point forward.

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  342. sdb,

    The answer is not to be a conservative modernist

    Totally agree with you here. One point of curiosity: I see you depart from advocating some form of NL which is different than most 2kers (I do think that 2k and NL are divisible), yet modernism is, if anything a rejection of Natural Law among other axioms. Do you reject NL and Natural Theology outright like the dialectic theologians and Van Tilians do, or do you simply maintain that though NL is operative we shouldn’t expect it to norm human legal systems?

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  343. Please stop making Misty Irons the end-all-and-be-all of Reformed Theology, huh?????

    If you really know better, what the **** are you trying to pull invoking her name?

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  344. Kevin: Do you draw any essential and significant distinction in the definition of natural law from, say, the Thomistic tradition?

    I don’t know, because Thomistic NL is not an area I’ve studied. Natural law as I understand it is the law of God written on the heart.

    I think of it as rather hard to read, which I accept as a weakness of my position.

    KNW: The natural law applies to both the Church and the non-Christian realm? Or the law given to the Church somehow supercedes?

    It applies to both the Christian and non-Christian in their common-realm endeavors. The Bible is given to the church and is binding on Christian and non-Christian alike, but only the Christian will (genuinely) receive it by faith.

    KNW: So non-Christians have no moral obligation to hold the faith and worship God?

    No, actually, they very much do. That obligation is written on the heart, and is thus a part of natural law. However, natural law doesn’t get very far beyond just the obligation. Scripture is needed to give the content of the faith.

    KNW: can you point me to a source that expands on this? Perhaps ideally a thomistic treatment from someone who is Reformed?

    Jed, do you know of any? Van Drunen is a strong proponent of natural law and is Reformed, but I don’t know that he takes a thomistic treatment.

    KNW: why such passion on the issue?

    In the Reformed world, there are two different pressures. From the theological right, you have theonomists, who hold that government ought to enforce the Decalogue. I call them “theological right” because they tend to want to revert to the 1646 Confession.

    From the theological left, you have evangelicals, who are very mushy in their thinking but tend to try to merge America and the Church.

    The point of being vocal about 2k is to resist those forces.

    Within the Catholic church, likewise, there is the Liberation Theology movement, a strong tendency to try to identify “Christian” political positions, even “Christian Democratic Parties” in Europe. Those forces could use a little (or a lot) of 2k. The Pope’s recent encyclical on the environment is a good example of modest overreach.

    KNW: Is it that big a problem if a group of monks run a brewery …

    Not as long as they bottle under the label Ale Mary.

    KNW: …owns farms and hires tenants, or even hires guards to protect the property from theft?

    But seriously, why monks at all? There is an underlying theology of the superiority of “sacred callings” that I find suspicious. Adam was perfectly righteous and yet was no monk.

    KNW: I would argue Church and State cooperate in helping man fulfill his God-given nature and ultimate destiny, preparing man for a virtuous life in this world and (ideally) everlasting bliss in the next.

    And I think that’s my point of disagreement. The State can’t help man fulfill his God-given nature or his ultimate destiny. The State’s job, per Rom 13, is to restrain evil.

    Why can’t the State help with God-given nature?

    (1) Not its jurisdiction. That’s what elders are for.
    (2) No expectation of Christian leadership.
    (3) No expectation of Christian citizenry.
    (4) No ability to preach the Word or administer Sacraments, which are the things God has given us to help with God-given nature and prepare for our ultimate destiny.

    The State that tries to do what you describe is playing out of position.

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  345. Jed & Jeff,

    Good appeals. I appreciate that. I’ll shift from the personal since everything I’ve ever considered making public is now public for those who care. If the inner circle can refrain from personal attacks against me, I’ll confine my criticism to 2k and the general impropriety of the Old Life project (the focus of my formal complaint).

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  346. Appalled,
    That seems a bit much. Imaging a church requiring members or elder forcing everybody in a coffee shop to list their names and church affiliation before they could talk with each other. Like I said just sounds a little unrealistic and tyrannical.

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  347. Erik, wait. You’re asking a presbytery to order the reformed leaning Ohio Baptist kid use his real name when he parodies Steely Dan lyrics on an OPC elder’s semi-recreational blog.

    Overreach is the nicest word I can use. There’s another one, and it starts with “L” and ends with St. Paul wishing you would emasculate yourself.

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  348. Appalled,
    I will say, anybody here who has email interacted with got a formal introduction and the diocese and bishop I am under.

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  349. Jed,

    You brought up Horton, DVD, and RSC. All of these guys have either avoided taking strident 2k positions from the beginning or have walked them back (Horton & Clark, in particular).

    Darryl never has and, in fact, grows more strident. I think he’s headed for a fight with the OPC and probably even welcomes it.

    He came into the church weaned on Machen. Should we expect any less?

    The only question is whether or not the OPC has the resolve to address it. Old Life is clearly a problem.

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  350. D,

    The OPC has no jurisdiction over you. They have jurisdiction over the host as an officer who has made vows if Presbyterianism means anything at all.

    The host can control who interacts here and how. The OPC can control the host’s public religious activities when he’s trading on his OPC credentials.

    Open up a convenience store an call it 7-11 when you have no legal affiliation with 7-11 and see how that goes.

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  351. A,

    I concede his public theological teaching is subject to the jurisdiction of his Presbytery. The choice to identify his commentors by full name and religious institution affiliation is not, not by any stretch of reason.

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  352. I know of nowhere that Clark or Horton have “walked back” their views on 2k. They have always been more politically conservative than Hart and more outspoken in their defense of those conservative views. They are theologically and ecclesiasticaly on the same page as Hart. 2k is accommodative of all of them.

    As for the allegation that Hart’s 2k is headed for the church courts, I seriously doubt it. It would be far more reaching than Hart and could create a major rift between the OPC and WSC, which supplies a good deal of her ministers. Whatever your complaint is, I think it will be considered as a personal complaint against an officer, I don’t think 2k will be considered based on the content disputed here.

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  353. Guys,

    Time will tell HOW Old Life gets under control, but it WILL get under control — I’d bet money on it. Oddball professors have their day in the sun, but OPC history shows it doesn’t last forever. Those who aren’t warped by being steeped in the culture here see it clearly and immediately and any church that hopes to have credibility with serious Christian people will not let that go on forever. Biblical Christianity is not an undisciplined freak show and that’s what this has become, even when I’m not here. Ha, ha.

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  354. Something between wild west and Ref21 would probably be appropriate especially when people start commenting that they found this site while looking for the OPC – a. and KiN are examples. While the all over the map nature of this blog and comments is interesting and provocative it isn’t representative of a typical OPC officer or church. That said the host, as an officer of the OPC, certainly does represent Christ and this branch (OPC) of His church to this age and the age to come. Some of the comment threads, including this one, have been truly cringe worthy.

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  355. I’ll further predict that Darryl’s takes on gay marriage will be the breaking point. He can’t resist stepping in it and won’t be able to resist continuong to step in it as things unfold.

    That will further rile up the comment section and the downward spiral will be unending.

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  356. @Appalled
    Note of clarification. DGH is not a minister in the OPC, but is a ruling elder. Therefore the court of original jurisdiction is not a presbytery but the session of the church of which he is a member. That being said, as DGH is a ruling elder, his session cannot receive a charge against him unless it is presented by no less than two people who have standing to do so. Generally speaking that would require 2 communicate members (in good and regular standing) of the OPC preferably from his own congregation. Otherwise any communication on the matter is not actionable.

    So unless you are a member of the OPC and can get another OPC member to present charges and specifications to his session, you’re not likely to get very far. That being said, it can be argued that the church is without authority to censure accept to admonish, rebuke, suspend from the table and excommunicate. Also one can’t ask for specific a remedy like forcing DGH to require those who comment to supply their real names and church affiliations. Getting a conviction on “failing to promote truth between man and man, and/or protecting the name of one’s neighbor” based on the way he runs a blog site it pretty unlikely.

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  357. CT, allow me to point out that the blog owner is vacationing and is apparently off the grid and thus unable to do much about what’s occurred the last few days. This thread is the responsibility of the participants.

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  358. Not for nothing, but what’s cringe worthy is all the handwringing and sky is falling and I’m offended b.s. Btw, the last name is Moore and I’d invite you to come after me through my church or presbytery, but I don’t think that appreciate the nonsense when they have actual pressing matters to contend with, not overwrought blog drama.

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  359. Also, to make sure that you have a good sense of where the OPC is (generally speaking) on public morality, please see
    http://opc.org/GA/abortion.html

    Please take specific note of the minority report by Paul Woolley an OPC minister and professor at Westminster Theological Seminary (original). Given Woolley on abortion, why would anyone in the OPC even think of disciplining DGH on SSM?

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  360. sean,

    Agreed, I don’t think the OPC is going to get into policing the blogosphere or her officers politics. The fact is DGH holds to the Standards, and he would affirm that gay marriage is a violation of the general equity of the 7th commandment. His political musings are going to be very hard to pin a violation on. This is getting blown way out of proportion.

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  361. And those who would demand strict culture warrior RW political correctness are as ridiculous as the left-wing college campus and Social Justice Warrior (trigger warnings, safe places, speech codes, etc.) mobs. Do you want Fox News with a dash of WCF? Do you want to think?

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  362. The left has dictated what the Christian right will do. It’s like a mirror: they play a zero sum game, we play a zero sum game. They glibly attack character, we glibly attack character. They see the political solution as ultimate, we see the political solution as ultimate (with empty talk of God’s sovereignty). They do witch hunts with PC weaponry, we do witch hunts with a right wing PC. If you want to do politics and you are good at it, then good for you. But if you are captured by the spirit of today’s politics woe unto you.

    Her’s a crrrrraaaaazy proposal: think about we should conduct ourselves before God and man. This is a different concern than thinking about how loud we should shout or about what our next political move should be. And if you can’t see the difference you’re in pretty deep.

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  363. CW – thanks for noting that DGH is away. My comment had to do with the multiple recent threads airing dirty laundry or GtT’s coming clean about his criminal past on a public blog, posting a link to pornographic material to prove a point, etc – that kind of cringe worthy stuff. As for the provocateur wacktardery – I thought that was what the blog was semi-about.

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  364. Paul,

    Helpful.

    This is not about me winning. It’s about me trying to clear my conscience over something that I was intimately involved in for three years that I now consider to be heinous. If I alert authorities in the OPC, then the burden shifts from me to them. What they do at that point is out of my control.

    I don’t want to win – I want to see guys here clean up their lives, return to (or discover) a sincere faith, and have their families and churches benefit from that. These are some sad, hurting guys and I say that to humiliate no one.

    Greg called me out on some stuff, as did Tom, and I have benefitted from that. Flawed messengers? Yes, but God can use strange people to get our attention. That’s what makes the Christian life so interesting.

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  365. Jeff and Kevin,

    Jed, do you know of any? Van Drunen is a strong proponent of natural law and is Reformed, but I don’t know that he takes a thomistic treatment.

    Van Drunen hits on it somewhat, but Richard Muller is a better source for the historical material. The Reformed Scholastics take on Natural Law is broadly a development from Thomas, wrt to NL I couldn’t cite a substantial difference. I’ll try to pull up some sources when I get back home. Eventually if you are dealing with any Western NL construct (prot or roman) you will have to deal wit th Aquinas.

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  366. In Greg’s defense, his “criminal past” was pretty mild (theft) and his sharing clips from “The Wire” was well — The Wire. If we don’t like the clips, why celebrate “The Wire”? There were some other clips from other shows, but we need to cut him some slack — he’s not up to speed on this stuff. He requested it taken down when he realized what he had done.

    Many guys here like to dabble with sin, but flip out when it smacks them in the face. That’s the deceptiveness of sin.

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  367. Fwiw, the comments in the last few weeks at OLTS, with the back/forth from the reasoned Cat folks and the more thoughtful OLTS commenters, has been solid and thought-provoking. Thanks to each one who has invested the time to make good arguments, and ask good questions on the issues at hand. I (and I suspect others) have benefitted.

    As to the intramural P&R personal catfights that eat up airtime here…I’m guessing no one is going to benefit.

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  368. “not about me winning…clear my conscience…I now consider to be heinous…alert authorities….clean up their lives, return to (or discover) a sincere faith, and have their families and churches benefit from that. These are some sad, hurting guys and I say that to humiliate no one.”

    Senator Joseph McCarthy would be impressed with this. Well done, sir.

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  369. App, I think GtT is right about the media stuff – no argument from me on that front. Some of you guys get so freaking worked up and then post crazy accusations or all sorts of personal information (like the GtT reference).

    Send a note to Hart’s session with your concerns and as you said, your part in the lot is done. Do that for each of the men in question. Maybe nothing immediate comes of it but they will be on the radar and perhaps scrutinized further if necessary. Then as you said, you have done what you could.

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  370. Just to piggyback on my last comment, the Reformed Scholastics we’re trying to establish themselves and Reformed Christianity in the broadly (not Roman or papal) catholic tradition. Obviously they differ with Thomas on crucial issues, but much of their method and even the substance of their theology is built off of Thomas. Their theology proper for example is largely congruent with Thomas, and Protestants still would benefit greatly from reading and grappling with this brilliant saint, so much so that I would assert we must have darn good reasoning for where and why we depart from him.

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  371. CT, have you done discipline? It can be quite draining and cause a lot of trauma. It needs to be done at times, but to just say “file against them all” is a bit casual given the nature of discipline. Based on the description I’ve seen here, the complaint against DGH sounds frivolous, and filing frivolous complaints should never be encouraged.

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  372. Also – and I’m just generally speaking without pointing fingers – a person who brings unwarranted charges is potentially subject to slander charges. So it’s all very sober.

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  373. CT,

    I’m not charging any commenter here with anything. I’m not even trying to get Darryl “In trouble”. I’m just trying to find someone to provide proper oversight.

    Even the notion of Darryl just leaving town and letting all this go on completely unmoderated speaks volumes.

    “Hey kids, Mom and I are headed to the coast. Leave the kegs of beer alone and we’ll see you in a week.”

    Good grief…

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  374. Maybe the answer is just, “We give our officers wide latitude in (blogging/writing/speaking) on matters of the faith in public and have no control over what they say or how they do that.”

    Fine, that’s an answer, and grown Christian people who support OPC churches and OPC-affiliated institutions are free to accept it or not. People can always vote with their feet (and their money).

    Maybe the internet has caught the churches off-guard, though, and some thinking needs to be done about how these activities should be conducted and managed so that the churches are built up and not torn down?

    Show me Clark’s, Horton’s, and Van Drunen’s blogs. Do they look anything like this? If not, why not?

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  375. MG – no but I am at a church where it has been done and it certainly is a lot of trauma. My thought was one would have to:
    – Think through the charges and determine if one really should continue and has exhausted the personal recourse available
    – Discover the clerks / contact info for each session involved
    – Draft a coherent document articulating the offenses and the charges
    – Send the document and/or email
    – Interact with the sessions

    At each step along the way there is an opportunity to think it through and think do I really want to go forward with this – certainly beats airing it on a public blog and provides an opportunity for the offended party to be ministered to.

    You are one of the men he’s referring to aren’t you? Torpedo away anonymously sir.

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  376. Appalled:

    Who’s stirring the pot:

    Darryl appears to be on vacay so this could be fun!

    if you are so concerned about Darryl’s house while he is gone, explain yourself..

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  377. “This is not about me winning. It’s about me trying to clear my conscience over something that I was intimately involved in for three years that I now consider to be heinous. If I alert authorities in the OPC, then the burden shifts from me to them. What they do at that point is out of my control.”

    “I don’t want to win – I want to see guys here clean up their lives, return to (or discover) a sincere faith, and have their families and churches benefit from that. These are some sad, hurting guys and I say that to humiliate no one.”

    “In Greg’s defense, his “criminal past” was pretty mild (theft) ”

    As you may recall Erik, Daryll told you not to mention this ‘elusive’ supposed ‘Inner-old life” that was going on behind the scenes… You agreed and said you would never do it again, yet time and time again today that is what you have done. Over and Over ad nauseum. You aren’t helping anyone. You continue to ‘Out’ people for various things YOU see as sin , and threaten when you feel attacked. The only complaint anyone has about whats going one here…is about YOU.. Take that as your cue…. None of this would be being done publicly if you actually gave two cents about anyone but yourself..you can tell me to stick it cause you don’t think you know me… but i know YOU. You looooove this attention and I’m feeding it long enough to say, nobody cares anymore what kind of slanderous bs you wanna spew. Look to your own secret sins Erik…. worry about that

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  378. “Send a note to Hart’s session with your concerns and as you said, your part in the lot is done. Do that for each of the men in question.”

    A few minutes later this is transformed into a careful 5 step process with “this is what I meant.”

    Then, “CT” says “Torpedo away anonymously sir” as if there is an obvious problem (to “CT”) with being anonymous.

    CT, you are bit too casual with other people’s lives. But here’s the deal: Erik knows me. He’s eaten in my house and smoked a cigar on my back deck. And if he wants to hassle me, well it’s a free country and my Session will give full attention to whatever he has to say.

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  379. O.K. The inner circle (4 guys – Muddy, Sean, Zrim, Chortles) are spooked and flipping out under fake names so I’ll retreat for now. Jed, if I say something that’s not true, by all means, correct me. Otherwise I don’t fear these men and I don’t seek their approval. That’s what sent me down the wrong path here in the first place. Later.

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  380. I am none of those men—I am not lucky enough to be one of the ‘inner circle guys” which i do not believe anyway–so I do not want them or my wife and family to catch your wrath which is why I am not giving my name. You don’t deserve my name. You are not to be trusted and I think you are delusional and possibly worse.

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