Move Over Kim Davis, Say Hello to Charee Stanley

Today’s news brings this item:

A Muslim flight attendant said the Atlanta-based airline ExpressJet suspended her for refusing to serve alcohol, a practice that is against her religious beliefs.

Charee Stanley filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last week, saying she wants to do her job without serving alcohol, as she was doing before her suspension, her lawyer said.

Lena Masri, an attorney with the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said no one “should have to choose between their career and religion.” Employers, she told CNN, must “provide a safe environment where employees can feel they can practice their religion freely.”

Stanley, 40, began working for ExpressJet nearly three years ago. She later converted to Islam and only learned earlier this year that her faith prohibits her both from serving alcohol and consuming it. She approached a supervisor on June 1, Masri said, and was told to work out an arrangement with other flight attendants.

“We know that this arrangement has worked beautifully and without incident and that it hasn’t caused any undue burden on the airline,” Masri said.

But she said a co-worker filed a complaint on August 2, saying Stanley was not fulfilling her duties. The complaint, which Masri characterized as “Islamophobic,” also said Stanley had a book with “foreign writings” and wore a head scarf.

On August 25, the airline told Stanley it was revoking its religious accommodation and placing her on administrative leave.

So I wonder if Rick Phillips’ reasons for supporting Kim Davis would apply to Charee Stanley.

Kim Davis is not violating but rather upholding Romans 13:1, which says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.”

Hard to say that of Stanley since she is not pretending to follow the apostle Paul.

Kim Davis is fulfilling her God-given duty as the lesser magistrate.

Again, some disconnect here since flight attendants work in the private sector, not like county clerks. But since Stanley is an American and in a democracy all citizens are magistrates, Phillips’ reason applies.

Kim Davis is being persecuted for her Christian faith by hypocritical and tyrannical powers.

Chances are that Stanley is the object of more discrimination than Davis, numbers being what they are and Christians forming the demographic majority in the United States (where Islam is still an acquired taste). But Stanley’s case could remind Christians that they don’t need to be paranoid. Everyone experiences some kind of discrimination. The authorities don’t single out Christians.

Kim Davis is demonstrating the power of the grace of God in salvation.

Stanley clearly fails on this one unless you want to find some kind of common plan of salvation among the Abrahamic faiths. On the other hand, can Rick Phillips be so sure about what Davis means? That doesn’t mean that we know what her non-Christian or discomforting meaning is. But why, with all the baggage surrounding her, would you be so confidant?

Consider how Rod Dreher saw Davis’ release from jail:

She comes out of jail with that cheesy 1980s song “Eye of the Tiger” playing, and mounts the stage, holding hands with Huck, and giving God the glory. Now, religious liberty — our most precious freedom — is associated in the mind of the public with ersatz culture-war pageantry orchestrated by a cynical Republican presidential candidate.

I thought Ted Cruz’s turning up at the Middle Eastern bishops meeting and bashing them was the most cynical move I had ever seen by a Christian Right politician, but Huckabee may have bested that. The Family Research Council and other Christian, Inc. lobbyists are already writing the fundraising appeals, you can bet. And you can also bet that they’re bending the ear of clueless House Republicans to get them to propose provocative religious liberty legislation that stands no chance of passing, but every chance of discrediting the cause in the public’s eye. (In fact, I was told last night by someone deeply involved in this issue at the Congressional level that this is exactly what is happening.)

So I’m angry about this. Huckabee and Cruz, but especially Huckabee, are doing wonders to inject juice into their own presidential campaigns, but the political cost to the long-term good of orthodox Christians will be severe. But hey, we’ve Made A Statement, and demonstrating our emotions (and, while we’re at it, raising some money for GOP candidates and Christian advocacy groups) is the most important thing.

For conservative Christians who don’t understand why we should care about the political effect of the Kim Davis debacle, and the optics of yesterday’s release rally, I want you to consider how it would appear to you if Hillary Clinton staged a rally against police brutality around the release from jail of a West Baltimore thug who had been roughed up by the cops as they were arresting him for shooting up a neighborhood. The gangster takes the stage to the sound of gangsta rap, wearing pants hanging off his butt, with cornrowed hair and covered in tattoos.

It could well be that Hillary’s principles were in order, and an important principle was at stake. But think of how the imagery of celebrating this guy like that would make you feel. How sympathetic would you be to the worthy cause of fighting police brutality after that display? If fighting police brutality means having to stand with a victim like that, would most people be more inclined to join the cause?

Look, I’m not comparing Kim Davis to a gangbanger. What I’m telling you is how this situation, especially yesterday’s celebration, looks to a whole lot of people outside our bubble. And it matters. It matters to all of us. Our side has no leadership, only opportunists leading the mob.

If only Christians could lower the stakes. Turn this into a simple case of religious freedom, then you don’t need to baptize Kim Davis as the most devout follower of Jesus Christ. You simply point out the problems of the recent Supreme Court decision for all people who might object to same sex marriage. And if it’s only about religious freedom, maybe you also defend Charee Stanley and gain some street cred with non-Christians.

But when the forces of Christianity, the Constitution, and the GOP line up in one seamless whole of goodness and truth, more than Houston has a problem.

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342 thoughts on “Move Over Kim Davis, Say Hello to Charee Stanley

  1. Rick P— “Kim Davis is demonstrating the power of the grace of God in salvation….This is what the grace of Christ looks like in a true believer’s life.”

    But the rest of us seem to be “isolationists” who have failed to notice that the apocalypse has arrived in America. Kim Davis is our Luther, and Mike Huckabee is our “lesser magistrate”. Antinomians like us are “duty-shirkers”

    Harry Reeder—“I do hope and pray you are in a solid Christian church, and by God’s grace your motivations are saturated by the love of Christ. But regardless, what you have done is right….And in the future if our Lord does not intervene with a Gospel Awakening in the church and this nation, I pray you will graciously stand with me when the unchecked judicial tyranny of the secular state comes to the pulpit for me and for others, even those not standing with you now.”

    Harry Reeder—“Many in the North and South as citizens and government officials challenged the Dred Scott opinion. If more had done so, there is a good possibility that 700,000 lives in a fratricidal Civil War might have been avoided, and racial hostilities still plaguing this nation might have been rightly addressed. A Christian not only is right before God to disobey such laws, but actually has a duty to do so out of allegiance to Christ and love for others. I commend to you as an eloquent example of this the Rev. Martin Luther King’s “Letters from a Birmingham Jail,” defending the right and DUTY of professing Christians to disobey unjust laws that attack God’s Law and HUMAN FLOURISHING… This is particularly true of lesser magistrates as prescribed by the Reformers, specifically John Calvin and Martin Luther. They not only affirmed the right and DUTY of such civil disobedience by Christian citizens to unjust and immoral laws It was such “lesser magistrates” who protected the lives of Calvin and Luther. It was such “lesser magistrates” who contended for God-given unalienable rights that led 13 colonies through its War for Independence, resulting in a nation that affirms the God-given liberties of its people…Those who are so intimidated will distance themselves from Kim Davis as fast as the Palm Sunday crowd following Christ in Jerusalem disappeared on Good Friday.”

    https://harryreeder.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/kim-davis-state-criminal-church-discipline/

    Like

  2. Personally I think the root problem is consequence of a thousand-year-old ecclesiological crisis.

    Consider that the word “marriage” maybe a homonym. Consider that there may be two overlapping and similarly but fundamentally different institutions involved.

    First, “marriage,” at least in a historically Christian sense is a Sacrament and type, specifically symbolically aligned with the relationship between the Church and Christ and between man and God. Marriage as type, as two becoming one, is central to the Christian theological tradition.

    Second, the word “marriage” is also used for a civil contract between two persons with certain benefits and obligations, such as those regarding property and taxation.

    If one cannot handle homonyms and needs clarity of terms to have clarity of concepts then perhaps the former should be called “matrimony” or the latter “civil union.”

    The Church, as something believed to one, holy, universal, and apostolic, has in the American republic relinquished in the matter of marriage, its ecclesial duties to the state. Simply, clergy marry mostly as agents of the state, often “by the power vested in me by the state of N.” Clergy generally do not record as in historic times in durable church records who was married to whom when.

    The solution to this whole cultural matter is to let the state govern the state governed institution. And let the Church govern that which instituted by Christ, the different thing which happens to be of the same name.

    Kim Davis is understood to be an Apostolic Christian. Here, “apostolic” means something quite different from the historic context of the four marks of the Church. It means an environment of very low ecclesiology and likewise minimal awareness of Sacramental theology.

    What Kim Davis needs to understand is that she, simply, in her elected office is an agent of the state administering a state contract. As a member of the executive branch of the government it is her sworn duty not to define the laws or interpret the laws but to follow and enforce them as they are. If she were clergy acting on behalf of the Church, on behalf of Christ, on behalf of the Godhead, in a sacred solemnizing act, this would be a different matter.

    Davis was (sadly and antagonistically) asked, by whose authority would she not marry the same-sex applicants. She invoked the Deity and said, “God’s authority.”

    It’s a dumbed-down understanding of both representative Democracy and Christian ecclesiology.

    The power vested in Davis to perform marriages (of the civil union type) is granted by the state. It is a power, of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is one, according to Abraham Lincoln, that we hope “shall not perish from the earth.” Simply, it is not by God’s authority she is performing the duties of her job. It is power that originates in the electorate and works its way through instruments and institutions such as the Constitution and Supreme Court.

    In contrast, the power vested in clergy to perform marriages (of the holy, instituted by Christ type, the type meant to align with the reunion of God with man) is a power of the Church, as established by the Holy Spirit, at Pentecost. If Davis were performing a job by “God’s authority” it would be of this nature. That this can not even be conceived by Christian populace is a consequence of centuries of ecclesial division and surrender of certain sacred duties to the secular state.

    The embedded foundational consequence of such a worldview is that it implies that the state is the means by which salvation comes. And here, no I don’t mean the modern version of something Elysian in individual escape into an otherworldly Heavenly Abode. Here, by salvation I mean something broader in the breadth of variance of the writers of the Biblical canon in their as-held beliefs about what it means for the Lord to “save.” Here, I mean more so the means by which the world will be made right, all things new, in a New Heaven and New Earth culminating the typology of the ultimate “two becoming one.”

    Sadly, Christians do know their Christian theology.

    Mike Huckabee’s unlicensed Eye of the Tiger is simply no Beatific Vision.

    The world is right to reject and perhaps even understandable to mock.

    It simply is not an outward sign of an inward grace.

    It’s political in-group grandstanding fueled by pathetic theology and fear of loss of worldly power and significance.

    What the chaff burn. It will. Indeed, God does hate figs. Watch this all wither at the side of the road.

    Like

  3. Rick P— “When will Christians wake up and realize that the culture war in America is a true instance of the spiritual warfare about which we read in Scripture?

    Do American snipers killing Muslims show us what the grace of Christ looks like in a true believer’s life.?

    Like

  4. Muddy, I was going to agree with you but then I read this,

    “The world is right to reject and perhaps even understandable to mock.”

    And I thought, well, alrighty then.

    Like

  5. Awesome, McMark. Rev. Reeder makes Darryl and the Eunuchs look like such rationalizers for their own moral and theological inertia, even when strong arguments for moral and religious courage exist in their own theological tradition.

    The point about Dred Scott is elegant, the tragedy of good men doing nothing, saying nothing. Such sins of omission are all the worse when they attack those who do stand up and say something. As they say, this is a teachable moment.

    Mark Mcculley
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink
    Rick P— “Kim Davis is demonstrating the power of the grace of God in salvation….This is what the grace of Christ looks like in a true believer’s life.”

    But the rest of us seem to be “isolationists” who have failed to notice that the apocalypse has arrived in America. Kim Davis is our Luther, and Mike Huckabee is our “lesser magistrate”. Antinomians like us are “duty-shirkers”

    Harry Reeder—“I do hope and pray you are in a solid Christian church, and by God’s grace your motivations are saturated by the love of Christ. But regardless, what you have done is right….And in the future if our Lord does not intervene with a Gospel Awakening in the church and this nation, I pray you will graciously stand with me when the unchecked judicial tyranny of the secular state comes to the pulpit for me and for others, even those not standing with you now.”

    Harry Reeder—“Many in the North and South as citizens and government officials challenged the Dred Scott opinion. If more had done so, there is a good possibility that 700,000 lives in a fratricidal Civil War might have been avoided, and racial hostilities still plaguing this nation might have been rightly addressed.

    A Christian not only is right before God to disobey such laws, but actually has a duty to do so out of allegiance to Christ and love for others. I commend to you as an eloquent example of this the Rev. Martin Luther King’s “Letters from a Birmingham Jail,” defending the right and DUTY of professing Christians to disobey unjust laws that attack God’s Law and HUMAN FLOURISHING… This is particularly true of lesser magistrates as prescribed by the Reformers, specifically John Calvin and Martin Luther. They not only affirmed the right and DUTY of such civil disobedience by Christian citizens to unjust and immoral laws It was such “lesser magistrates” who protected the lives of Calvin and Luther. It was such “lesser magistrates” who contended for God-given unalienable rights that led 13 colonies through its War for Independence, resulting in a nation that affirms the God-given liberties of its people…Those who are so intimidated will distance themselves from Kim Davis as fast as the Palm Sunday crowd following Christ in Jerusalem disappeared on Good Friday.”

    https://harryreeder.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/kim-davis-state-criminal-church-discipline/

    Like

  6. Teaching the gospel of grace based on Christ’s death satisfying God for all the imputed sins of the elect….is doing nothing.

    Using the power of a democratic majority to force those on the margins go in the right direction—is doing something?

    Marilynne Robinson—“The terrible massacres of Protestants in France in the sixteenth century, whether official or popular in their origins, reflect the fear that is engendered by the thought that someone really might destroy one’s soul, plunge one into eternal fire by corrupting true belief even inadvertently. If someone had asked a citizen of Lyon, on his way to help exterminate the Calvinists, to explain what he and his friends were doing, he would no doubt have said that he was taking back his city, taking back his culture, taking back his country, fighting for the soul of France.”

    “This kind of language was not invented in order to be used against Calvinists—Europe had been purging itself of heretics since the thirteenth century, so the pattern was already well established. These same terms had been used centuries before by the Roman emperor Julian, called the Apostate, when he tried to return Rome from its emerging Christianity to the old classical paganism.”

    “Calvin had his supernumeraries, great French lords who were more than ready to take up arms in his cause, which was under severe persecution. He managed to restrain them while he lived, saying that the first drop of blood they shed would become a torrent that drowned France. And, after he died, Europe was indeed drenched in blood. So there is every reason to suppose that Calvin would have thought his movement had lost at least as much as it gained in these efforts to defend it, as he anticipated it would. Specifically, in some degree it lost its Christian character…”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2015/sep/24/marilynne-robinson-fear/

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  7. Tough to balance accuracy and eloquence. Truth be told, accuracy wreaks havoc on style. Poets care nought about the one and scientists are oblivious to the other.

    Sean, you missed your martial arts today, didn’t you?

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  8. I haven’t read every word in the article or the comments. It is my understanding that only the Congress can make laws. The Supreme Court can only decide if an existing law is unconstitutional. Where’s the law?

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  9. Well then you march right back and read all the words.

    The law is in regs, statutes, and judicial precedent. When the SCOTUS takes a case one of these – usually a statute or maybe an action by a state actor – is being challenged.

    I’m not an expert at anything, but I’ve broken a computer screen by flicking a bottle cap.

    Like

  10. Carmen S.
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 11:45 pm | Permalink
    I haven’t read every word in the article or the comments. It is my understanding that only the Congress can make laws. The Supreme Court can only decide if an existing law is unconstitutional. Where’s the law?

    Bingo. But Darryl and the Eunuchs would hand Kim Davis over to the jailer anyway, just in case. It’s called [radical] Two Kingdoms theology, where you just follow orders.

    Like

  11. Mark Mcculley
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 11:34 pm | Permalink
    Teaching the gospel of grace based on Christ’s death satisfying God for all the imputed sins of the elect….is doing nothing.

    Using the power of a democratic majority to force those on the margins go in the right direction—is doing something?

    “Calvin had his supernumeraries, great French lords who were more than ready to take up arms in his cause, which was under severe persecution. He managed to restrain them while he lived, saying that the first drop of blood they shed would become a torrent that drowned France. And, after he died, Europe was indeed drenched in blood. So there is every reason to suppose that Calvin would have thought his movement had lost at least as much as it gained in these efforts to defend it, as he anticipated it would. Specifically, in some degree it lost its Christian character…”

    Not sure where you’re going with all this, McMark, but blood was spilled [although it didn’t drown France].

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Bartholomew%27s_Day_massacre

    Further, the Kim Davis affair stops short on all sides at the drawing of blood, as did MLK’s dissension, jailing and ultimate victory, so this needs to get dialed back a little.

    Like

  12. More than Two Kingdoms, the doctrine of the Incarnation resonates with me. And also Kenosis.

    Why this matters is because matrimony, ecclesiology, and theosis are all aligned with each other. What the Church does with marriage should be more so framed under the banner of its ecclesiology and hopeful theosis than have concern about the temporary state’s management of contracts pertaining to property and taxation.

    We believe the Word became flesh and that this is how these spheres intertwine. Or maybe we used to. We seem to have forgotten that as well as what can be garnered from Augustine, Martin Luther, John Lock, and James Madison.

    Christians have the most befuddled theologies if you listen to them in their own words.

    Like

  13. Gary
    Posted September 10, 2015 at 2:13 am | Permalink
    More than Two Kingdoms, the doctrine of the Incarnation resonates with me. And also Kenosis.

    Why this matters is because matrimony, ecclesiology, and theosis are all aligned with each other. What the Church does with marriage should be more so framed under the banner of its ecclesiology and hopeful theosis than have concern about the temporary state’s management of contracts pertaining to property and taxation.

    We believe the Word became flesh and that this is how these spheres intertwine. Or maybe we used to. We seem to have forgotten that as well as what can be garnered from Augustine, Martin Luther, John Lock, and James Madison.

    Christians have the most befuddled theologies if you listen to them in their own words.

    I so agree, “Christians” have befuddled theologies. In fact, if you can explain the theology of this blog, you’re a major theologian.

    Maybe that’s not fair. The theology is

    1) Say Nothing
    2) Do Nothing
    3) Stay Out of the Line of Fire, follow the rules
    4) Wait to Die. In the meantime, consume tobacco, alcohol and watch HBO [The Wire is highly recommended]
    5) Die
    6) Proceed Directly to Heaven because you’re Elected, Selected, and can Never Be Rejected

    Awesome, eh?

    Unfortunately, you’re already Rejected, you poor suck. Me too. See you in hell. I hear it’s a lot like The Wire. If you’re all about preparing for your eternal future, bro, forget the Bible. Subscribe to HBO.

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  14. Carmen, the Supreme Court can decide if a private employer has violated civil rights by its actions. This is just a complaint with the EEOC right now.

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  15. But DGH, you have to be able appreciate precision like “today the federal government claims absolute power over every facet of our lives.” It’s been a really long time since I studied federal jurisdiction but I don’t remember my outline being that short.

    Like

  16. Yeah, Reeder’s an intellectual and rhetorical giant. I’m entertained by Rush and even loons like Michael Savage, but I don’t listen to them right before making theological and ecclesial observations. Bad idea.

    Like

  17. “We believe the Word became flesh and that this is how these spheres intertwine…”
    Well that solves that.

    “framed under the banner of its ecclesiology and hopeful theosis.”
    That reminds me, when is The Gospel Coalition doing its next Theosis Conference?

    But seriously, do you care to break this down a little bit? Helpful links?

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  18. Evangelicals, yet again, eagerly climbing back into the ring for another round of the culture wars, despite getting their clocks cleaned the last round. It seems short-sighted and reactionary rather than principled and serious. But…whatever, as long as we’re all sufficiently outraged.

    Like

  19. I could go halfway with the lack of integrity angle with the Daedelin(sp) stuff, and the worst of the findings was totally ignored by the media.

    But the 2K reps are almost 100% wrong on the Davis matter.

    Your mileage may vary.

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  20. A woman spoke out in public without dutifully and mousily worrying about what her husband thought?

    Next thing you know they’ll want a full time job too…

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  21. Seems too many 2K were hooked on Jon Stewart just raising an eyebrow and everyone falling on the ground rolling so hard they thought they might die or at the very least pee their pants at how funny it was.

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  22. Kent, we appreciate how you really dig in to the facts and give your detailed analysis. Maybe at some point you can try saying something other than “you’re an idiot” and “that’s wrong”?

    Like

  23. Kent, when did you mistake OL for Tim Bayly or Doug Wilson?

    Criticisms are fair. But gestures aren’t arguments and so far the 2k objection to Kim Davis has been all the gesturing going on around her.

    Symbolism over substance was how Rush L. used to characterize the left. Turns out everyone (except mmmmmeeeeeeEEEEE and others here) is all over symbol.

    I’m surprised that as a Canadian and attorney and Raptors’ fan you’re going for the cheap shots.

    Like

  24. Kent, you’re confusing OL with its BB antagonists. The problem has nothing to do with her gender. Sex, whatever, ask the BBs what the PC term is.

    Like

  25. “… More than Two Kingdoms, the doctrine of the Incarnation resonates with me. And also Kenosis…”

    First time I’ve seen “kenosis” mentioned on this blog. We gonna get into a debate over the two natures of Christ next?

    Like

  26. I wonder if the two natures are more meant for meditation and contemplation than for debate.

    And the Gospel Coalition (if I may over-generalize) has conception of the faith so different from what I’m personally able to at-best hypothesize, it could be such that mutually intelligible communications is not really possible. For the most part, I never discuss Christianity with Christians.

    Like

  27. “Seems too many 2K were hooked on Jon Stewart just raising an eyebrow and everyone falling on the ground rolling so hard they thought they might die or at the very least pee their pants at how funny it was.”

    I watched Jon Stewart for about a year or two in college (about 15 years ago) and got tired of the arrogance, cynicism, and mediocre humor.

    I haven’t been persuaded yet why I am obligated as a believer to take up Davis’ cause as my own. But let me go read Rev. Phillips’ piece again.

    Like

  28. mboss, there are varying degrees of taking up her cause.

    You can’t possibly be happy with SSM being forced on society (ASSUMED)

    You don’t believe that Christianity means “hoo hah” and shrug your shoulders when gross injustice occurs (ASSUMED)

    You don’t believe in acting like a tin god of law and attacking everyone on Constitutional matters just because you are a lawyer on here (ASSUMED)

    It doesn’t mean you have to go on a hunger strike for her or mortgage your home for her legal bills, but it’s in a gray area and I’m glad someone is doing this with hopefully many more to follow.

    Like

  29. It’s tragically amazing to see how some conservative Christians have rushed to employ selectivity in their defense of Kim Davis. And if we followed suit, we’d rush to do the same by comparing situations like Stanley’s to Davis’.

    Reading Philips’ point on Davis upholding Romans 13 seems to neglect the role of the Supreme Court in our government as well as their Obergefell decision. But such facts would not favor Philips’ point. Likewise, airlines are more flexible than voting results and thus the airlines are more able to accommodate different religions. But for governments, that felxibility ends once the votes are counted.. In addition, to take the postiion of clerk, one has to swear to uphold the law, Stanley never faced a comparable choice.

    But Davis’ and Stanley ‘ situations at not the major issue. The major issue is how in the world will we ever be able to witness to others after they have watched us act like a two year old throwing a tantrum over the same-sex marriage issue? And how can anyone outside the Church listen to us preach the Gospel with a straight face after seeing us insist on the fact tatat because we insist on the right to disciminate against ohters?

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  30. A bad few months for the theology of glory, but maybe not so bad for the theology of the cross. If your Xian worldview works best when your side is winning there might be a problem with it. (sorry for spelling out w-w)

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  31. And how we handle real or imagined persecution matters. I’m thinking now if churches get hassled more many of the populace will say we earned it. But who wants to be the underdog? Or a pilgrim without a big turkey and blunderbuss?

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  32. kent,

    I gather you’re also an attorney, so no doubt you’re aware of the concept of a “test case” or the related idea that bad facts make bad law. I probably differ from some (most?) 2Kers in that I don’t necessarily object to Christians using the rights available to them under a secular government to protect their ability to exercise their Christian religion. I just don’t think I would die on this hill because I’m not convinced she is in the right.

    Also, there’s apparently uncertainty about the orthodoxy of her church’s beliefs. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, but this may be another example of Evangelicalism’s tendency to hitch its wagon to someone without exercising much discernment.

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  33. mboss, not a lawyer, but used by them as an expert witness for a living, i know my boundaries…

    i agree it’s not a hill to die on. But some on here have posted over 100 times being really snotty with those of us who won’t condemn her lock, stock, and barrell.

    That’s all…

    Like

  34. Curt Day
    Posted September 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink
    It’s tragically amazing to see how some conservative Christians have rushed to employ selectivity in their defense of Kim Davis. And if we followed suit, we’d rush to do the same by comparing situations like Stanley’s to Davis’.

    Reading Philips’ point on Davis upholding Romans 13 seems to neglect the role of the Supreme Court in our government as well as their Obergefell decision. But such facts would not favor Philips’ point. Likewise, airlines are more flexible than voting results and thus the airlines are more able to accommodate different religions. But for governments, that felxibility ends once the votes are counted.. In addition, to take the postiion of clerk, one has to swear to uphold the law, Stanley never faced a comparable choice.

    But Davis’ and Stanley ‘ situations at not the major issue. The major issue is how in the world will we ever be able to witness to others after they have watched us act like a two year old throwing a tantrum over the same-sex marriage issue? And how can anyone outside the Church listen to us preach the Gospel with a straight face after seeing us insist on the fact tatat because we insist on the right to disciminate against ohters?

    I clicked just out of morbid curiosity to see the resident left-winger would cleave to the party line. Well done.

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  35. It seems to me that the simple point is that if the government cannot find a way to accommodate a conscience exception for Ms. Davis, then there is a de facto religious test for office. It was my understanding that originally she asked to have her name removed from the licenses or something and was refused, but I might be wrong on that.

    Of course the issue is complex because how many exemptions can one get and still be able to do the job for which one is hired. No easy answer.

    But the grandstanding around this is very problematic. I’m all for citizens’ freedom being respected, but too many people are treating Kim Davis like she’s a Christian martyr when she seems to belong to a non-Trinitarian sect. And the various presidential candidates such as Huckabee are clearly trying to benefit with this with a certain segment of the voting public. The less cynical part of me would want to believe he’s not doing it on purpose, but I don’t really trust any politician.

    The problem is that there’s no easy answer to what Ms. Davis should do or even what the government should do. And I’ll also add that if Christians want to fight for her religious freedom, they need to fight for Ms. Stanley’s as well.

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  36. Relatedly, have the conservatives who champion Ms. Davis’ cause attempted to reconcile their defense of her with their likely condemnation of liberal cities that deem themselves sanctuary cities?

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  37. Gary – if you look at the list of those who comprise leadership in the GC you’ll see lots of famous “theologians” who teach at well known evangelical seminaries that are known for a low view of scripture (or at least a liberal contemporary interpretation of it), but are right there on the bandwagon when it comes to heralding popular causes like “social justice.” So, you’re well advised to ignore most of what they have to say and stick to the Reformed teaching about the two natures, etc.

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  38. “If your Xian worldview works best when your side is winning there might be a problem with it.”

    I might need your real name so I can properly attribute this when I quote it repeatedly over the next few days.

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  39. mboss, my outrage fuel tank can only handle so much, the contradictions would endlessly be brought forth again me in judgment.

    Like

  40. D.G. Hart:
    If only Christians could lower the stakes. Turn this into a simple case of religious freedom, then you don’t need to baptize Kim Davis as the most devout follower of Jesus Christ. You simply point out the problems of the recent Supreme Court decision for all people who might object to same sex marriage. And if it’s only about religious freedom, maybe you also defend Charee Stanley and gain some street cred with non-Christians.>>>>>

    Several here have said that there are problems with the Supreme Court decision. What are they? I think that there are problems, but what do you see as problems?

    Not that I am opposed to gaining street cred with non-Christians, of course. In your view, how does radical 2K theology relate to street cred with non-Christians? The City of God would be relevant here it seems.

    How do you as a proponent of radical 2K theology gain street cred with non-Christians without falling into what you view as errors in neo-Calvinism?

    Interesting paragraph, Brother Hart.

    Like

  41. In general I wouldn’t have a problem defending Stanley’s religious rights. And to the extent that her employer can accomodate her and still serve their customers that seems reasonable. However, I can’t help but wonder about some logical boundaries – the job of a flight attendant is to serve drinks. What if Stanley wants to be a land-based bartender? Why should she have to choose between her faith and her career?

    I would add though, under the heading of a food for thought, what are the limits of religious pluralism? The default assumption in the US is that religious freedom necessarily leads to harmondy, hand-holding, and ethnically and religiously diverse cookouts where the hummus is accorded equal time with the baked beans. But the reality is that Islam makes exclusive claims on the political sphere that Christianity – even the “every square inch” kind – does not make and that leads to conflict.

    Like

  42. The author misspells the word “confident” at the end of one paragraph, and that is the best thing you can say about his article. It’s awful. I have no idea why any Christian wants “street cred” from non-Christians. Worse, the idea that there is some sort of equivalence between an elected official, who happens to be a Christian, and a Muslim airline employee, is absurd. Moreover, I hope he enjoyed sniping at people who should be charitably considered to be our brothers and sisters in Christ, from the safety of his ivory tower; I did not enjoy reading about it.

    Like

  43. Curt Day
    Posted September 10, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    I am towing the leftist line on Kim Davis? You haven’t read what many nonConservatives are saying about her.

    BTW, tell me, what line are you towing?

    The “discrimination” cliche, as though invoking the word self-evidently ends all discussion.

    FTR, although all men are created equal, all sexualities are not. That’s the line I’m toeing, because it’s self-evidently the truth.

    Like

  44. D.G. Hart:
    If only Christians could lower the stakes. Turn this into a simple case of religious freedom, then you don’t need to baptize Kim Davis as the most devout follower of Jesus Christ. You simply point out the problems of the recent Supreme Court decision for all people who might object to same sex marriage. And if it’s only about religious freedom, maybe you also defend Charee Stanley and gain some street cred with non-Christians.>>>>>

    By George, I think he’s got it. Now the only question is who is going to fight for religious freedom, and how.

    Like

  45. Jeff Yelton
    Posted September 10, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Moreover, I hope he enjoyed sniping at people who should be charitably considered to be our brothers and sisters in Christ, from the safety of his ivory tower; I did not enjoy reading about it.

    You’re new here.

    Like

  46. TVD,
    But discriminate more than just a cliche, it is a verb. And in either case, it must be shown. So no, the discussion doesn’t end with that word, unless, of course, there was discrimination.

    BTW, while you claim that some words end discussions, other words are ambiguous and thus only cloud discussions. So continue about sexualities. What implications could you draw from that?

    Like

  47. TVD
    Posted September 10, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink
    D.G. Hart:
    If only Christians could lower the stakes. Turn this into a simple case of religious freedom, then you don’t need to baptize Kim Davis as the most devout follower of Jesus Christ. You simply point out the problems of the recent Supreme Court decision for all people who might object to same sex marriage. And if it’s only about religious freedom, maybe you also defend Charee Stanley and gain some street cred with non-Christians.>>>>>

    TVD:
    By George, I think he’s got it. Now the only question is who is going to fight for religious freedom, and how.>>>>>

    Yes. We are all in this together. It’s not just Ms. Davis’ freedom that is at stake. What’s that saying about if we don’t stand together we will all fall separately? Seems like a wise statement. Is this a good time to mention John 17 and Ephesians 4?

    Don’t know about the Muslim lady, but she looks nice and I love her scarf. Don’t know if the complaint against her was justified.

    Of course, we don’t know what law Ms. Davis broke, if any. The Kentucky state legislature may or may not have fun with this situation next session.

    Like

  48. Curt Day
    Posted September 10, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    But discriminate more than just a cliche, it is a verb. And in either case, it must be shown. So no, the discussion doesn’t end with that word, unless, of course, there was discrimination.

    BTW, while you claim that some words end discussions, other words are ambiguous and thus only cloud discussions. So continue about sexualities. What implications could you draw from that?

    Jesus discriminated. So did Paul. Some sexual conduct is good, some is not.

    What part of “all sexualities are not created equal” do you not understand? What part of making a distinction between persons and conduct do you not understand?

    Like

  49. TVD,
    Yes, Jesus said that He was the only way to the Father and all others were there to harm the sheep. That is discrimination. Therefore, there should be no religious liberty. There should only be the Christian religion in America. And, in fact, since not all churches are the same, the gov’t should discriminate even more by having state churches and forbidding those that don’t measure up from operating. Is that what you were referring to?

    Like

  50. Curt Day
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 12:34 am | Permalink
    TVD,
    Yes, Jesus said that He was the only way to the Father and all others were there to harm the sheep. That is discrimination. Therefore, there should be no religious liberty. There should only be the Christian religion in America. And, in fact, since not all churches are the same, the gov’t should discriminate even more by having state churches and forbidding those that don’t measure up from operating. Is that what you were referring to?

    No.

    Like

  51. Curt Day
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 5:22 am | Permalink
    TVD,
    Why not? Certainly other religions are not equal to the Gospel. So why should the gov’t treat other religions as eqyal to Christianity?

    Not talking about religions being equal. All sexualities are not, self-evidently. All persons are equal, all sexual conduct is not.

    Like

  52. Mermaid, maybe you start by not taking the Supreme Court decision personally?

    Maybe you also recognize that our society has jam packed marriage with all sorts of tax and other benefits that make it appealing for everyone (even while we don’t require people to stay married).

    I don’t believe gay marriage is in the best interest of the nation, though it does cut down on illegitimate children. So there’s a win there.

    But what the church requires is different from society. Why’s that so hard? Roman Catholics have been living with that difference for a long time. Now they act like they are the Protestant establishment (meaning Christians should be Christianizing U.S. society — which used to mean keeping it from becoming Roman Catholic?)?

    Like

  53. Publius, how do you square what you say about Islam with the hysteria Christians are exhibiting over gay marriage? You’d think Christians are advocating Sharia law.

    No one said religious pluralism would be easy, especially with monotheistic faiths. To think otherwise is stupid. Think Protestant anti-Catholicism. But 2k sure might help. Islam doesn’t have it. And that’s why the Roman Catholic and neo-Calvinist objections to 2k are let’s say a tad ironic.

    Like

  54. Mermaid, why so litigious (and Pharisaical)? We know Davis wasn’t doing her job. Do you think you’d hire someone, they refuse to do what you hired them to do, and then they keep their job?

    On what planet to you live?

    That kind of job security only happens in Vatican City or the former Soviet Union.

    Like

  55. Back in school it was finals time. I visited a classmate at his apartment that was, yeah, interesting. I’m sure the main rooms were plenty messy but all I remember is the bathroom sink, where every piece of soap, every tube of toothpaste, and every blotch of blech from the whole semester (whole year?) were in the sink or next to it.

    It was finals time – one test per subject, and that’s your grade. A hush of quiet concentration had taken over student life. But this guy was in a fantasy sports league. I’m putting together outlines, he’s checking on rushing yards or touchdowns scored or whatever the fantasy losers obsess over. But it was all harmless enough, I mean, as long as he eventually graduated, because he wasn’t scorning people who had different fantasy league opinions. And I think he understood he wasn’t actually changing the game of football by his private obsession.

    Paul: work with your hands and mind your own business. Outstanding.

    Like

  56. Curt, you want a question answered? He’s all cut ‘n paste, and in categories:
    – personal insults like Butch, the Eunuchs, etc.
    – about the OPC: it’s small, it is the PCUSA, etc.
    – on the RCC: it’s big, it isn’t like its members.
    – dashing chivalry to defend Mermaid from dialogue.
    – references to Calvinist rebellion.

    It seems like I’m missing a category but you get the idea: he doesn’t actually answer questions.

    Like

  57. <i.D. G. Hart
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 6:29 am | Permalink
    Mermaid, why so litigious (and Pharisaical)? We know Davis wasn’t doing her job. Do you think you’d hire someone, they refuse to do what you hired them to do, and then they keep their job?

    On what planet to you live?

    So sez the head Pharisee. What a tough guy.

    First of all, the job description was changed on her by the Supreme Court, rendering your whole point nonsense. There is no KY marriage law in place for her to enforce. Second, unlike you and your brigade of eunuchs, some people fight back against usurpations of rightful authority.

    Calvinists.

    Like

  58. Deez Chorts 2016
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink
    MG, you forgot the weekly references to how “kick ass” his band was and his game show bonafides.

    I don’t bring them up. My internet stalkers do when they run out of valid arguments, which is usually fairly quickly.

    Curt Day
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 10:39 am | Permalink
    TVD,
    According to you, which sexual orientations and conducts are not equal and why?

    You’re insulting your own intelligence, Curt. Please stop.

    Like

  59. TVD,
    Again, according to you, which sexual orientations and conducts are not equal and why? If you answer the question, you can prove Muddy Gravel wrong.

    Also, the Obergefell decision changed no one’s job description. It merely stated that state marital laws that discriminated against same-sex marriages were unconstitutional and thus had to include same-sex marriages with traditional ones.

    .

    Like

  60. D.G. Hart:
    But what the church requires is different from society. Why’s that so hard? Roman Catholics have been living with that difference for a long time. Now they act like they are the Protestant establishment (meaning Christians should be Christianizing U.S. society — which used to mean keeping it from becoming Roman Catholic?)?>>>>

    Your response if very odd, Brother Hart. The problem is when the federal government decides that all religious people are to be forced to submit to their new rules, or else! That is what happened with Ms. Davis.

    At the same time, the federal government punishes those who dare to try to enforce federal law. Think Arizona border, here.

    Religious liberty has to do with this.:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. “

    Notice that religion is mentioned first. See the golden chain, here? Free exercise of religion, speech, the press, and assembly are all connected. If one goes, they all go.

    Now we have the Supreme Court not only invalidating a state’s laws on marriage, but also making law for that state and ordering employees of the state of Kentucky to sign marriage licenses or go to jail.

    Maybe you don’t get what is really going on here or why it is so important to resist this kind of tyranny on the one hand, and federal lawlessness on the other. A bad combination even for Radical 2Kers.

    Like

  61. unlike you and your brigade of eunuchs, some people fight back against usurpations of rightful authority.

    Calvinists.

    Mr. Van Dyke, more accurate to add the qualifier *putative* Calvinists. Calvin and his progeny developed some sophisticated biblical resistance theory. But around these parts, that is the hidden Calvin. Stuck in the closet with the hidden Machen.

    Like

  62. Curt Day
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    Again, according to you, which sexual orientations and conducts are not equal and why? If you answer the question, you can prove Muddy Gravel wrong.

    Also, the Obergefell decision changed no one’s job description. It merely stated that state marital laws that discriminated against same-sex marriages were unconstitutional and thus had to include same-sex marriages with traditional ones.>>>>>

    So, what are the marriage laws in the state of Kentucky now? Are there any? I suppose that the legislature will have fun rewriting their marriage laws once the state legislature meets, but in the meantime are they under federal marriage laws? The federal government doesn’t make marriage laws. The Supreme Court makes no laws.

    When the federal government is not willing to enforce its own laws, then what’s up with trying to crush Ms. Davis?

    When the federal government begins to arbitrarily enforce its own laws – or no laws, in the case of marriage – we have a problem in these United States of America.

    Fine. The Supreme Court in their infinite wisdom found the marriage laws of the state of Kentucky unconstitutional. And? Therefore, Ms. Davis goes to jail?

    Now, maybe my years living in a military dictatorship and visiting a local Communist hell hole colored my views, but I am not sure why isolationist radical 2Kers like the federal government taking on such power. Aren’t y’all more libertarian?

    Like

  63. Mark, you’re saying Calvin and Machen are gay? How’s it feel to be terribly misread?

    But when it comes to Calvin and resistance, Van Drunen:

    Calvin’s convictions on this subject [civil disobedience] were, on the whole, strikingly conservative. In an extended series of discussions toward the close of the Institutes, he hailed the honor and reverence due to magistrates as a consequence of their appointment by God [ICR 4.20.22-29]. Calvin exhorts Christians that they must “with ready minds prove our obedience to them, whether in complying with edicts, or in paying tribute, or in undertaking public offices and burdens, which relate to the common defense, or in executing any other orders.” [ICR 4.20.23]. He goes on to make clear that this applies to bad rulers as well as good: “But if we have respect to the Word of God, it will lead us farther, and make us subject not only to the authority of those princes who honestly and faithfully perform their duty toward us, but all princes, by whatever means they have so become, although there is nothing they less perform than the duty of princes.” [ICR 4.20.25]. “The only thing remaining for you,” Calvin adds shortly thereafter, “will be to receive their commands, and be obedient to their words.” [ICR 4.20.26].

    David VanDrunen, Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms (pg. 121)

    VanDrunen goers on to point out that Calvin, when elucidating on the topic of civil disobedience and resistance qualifies his words by saying, “I speak only of private men.” He then goes on to show how Calvin made some interesting stipulations about the less private and more extraordinary men known as lesser magistrates, typically the doctrine invoked to justify rebelling against a magistrate who says some people can’t sit at lunch counters or on certain sides of buses. Not only may “lesser magistrates curb tyrants,” but “only magistrates who have already been appointed for such a task.”

    Was Davis appointed to curb tyrants? No? Then you don’t have the outed Calvin.

    Like

  64. I wouldn’t go there, Zrim; he’s going to come up with an obscure sermon or The Footnote that Devoured Cleveland. Let’s see if he can do that with the words of Jesus or Paul.

    Like

  65. I’d have to agree with Muddy Mitchell: you really don’t want to go there, Zrim. You’d have to get introduced to loads of Calvin and his progeny Beza and Knox. I do understand though why you might want to rest easy with the sock puppet versions from R2k boy Van Drunen.

    Like

  66. Mark Van Der Molen
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
    unlike you and your brigade of eunuchs, some people fight back against usurpations of rightful authority.

    Calvinists.

    Mr. Van Dyke, more accurate to add the qualifier *putative* Calvinists. Calvin and his progeny developed some sophisticated biblical resistance theory. But around these parts, that is the hidden Calvin. Stuck in the closet with the hidden Machen.

    Mark Van Der Molen
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
    I’d have to agree with Muddy Mitchell: you really don’t want to go there, Zrim. You’d have to get introduced to loads of Calvin and his progeny Beza and Knox. I do understand though why you might want to rest easy with the sock puppet versions from R2k boy Van Drunen.

    Amazing how they argue Calvin against Calvin. Calvinism: A Selective History.

    The Little Mermaid
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Religious liberty has to do with this.:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. “

    Notice that religion is mentioned first. See the golden chain, here? Free exercise of religion, speech, the press, and assembly are all connected. If one goes, they all go.

    Quite.

    There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire.

    John Wiitherspoon, one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in America.

    John Witherspoon, Resistance, and Revolution:

    The resistance literature that arose during the later stages of the Protestant Reformation built on the work of John Calvin (1509-64), but went far beyond the limited right of resistance articulated in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. Even that arch-predestinarian, who generally emphasized the obligation of individual Christians to obey their earthly rulers in the Institutes, had to admit that “[n]othing is more desirable than liberty. Calvin accordingly left the door to resistance slightly ajar by recognizing a right of “magistrates of the people, appointed to restrain the willfulness of kings to disobey oppressive rulers. These magistrates were to be appointed by the people in extraordinary circumstances to restrain the “fierce licentiousness of kings who “betray the freedom of the people.”

    Like

  67. …generally emphasized the obligation of individual Christians to obey their earthly rulers… left the door to resistance slightly ajar… These magistrates were to be appointed by the people in extraordinary circumstances…

    Wow, what conviction and truly resonating language for all good people to resist the slightest whiff of tyranny and clearly has Kim Davis and the Huck-a-throngs in mind. Case slam dunk closed. Golf clap.

    Like

  68. How about Calvin as he directly addresses the Scripture on submission to rulers – I Peter 2:13&14

    Now the meaning is, that obedience is due to all who rule, because they have been raised to that honor not by chance, but by God’s providence. For many are wont to inquire too scrupulously by what right power has been attained; but we ought to be satisfied with this alone, that power is possessed and exercised. And so Paul cuts off the handle of useless objections when he declares that there is no power but from God. And for this reason it is that Scripture so often says, that it is God who girds kings with a sword, who raises them on high, who transfers kingdoms as he pleases.

    As Peter referred especially to the Roman Emperor, it was necessary to add this admonition; for it is certain that the Romans through unjust means rather than in a legitimate way penetrated into Asia and subdued these countries. Besides, the Caesars, who then reigned, had possessed themselves of the monarchy by tyrannical force. Hence Peter as it were forbids these things to be controverted, for he shews that subjects ought to obey their rulers without hesitation, because they are not made eminent, unless elevated by God’s hand.

    It may, however, be objected here and said, that kings and magistrates often abuse their power, and exercise tyrannical cruelty rather than justice. Such were almost all the magistrates, when this Epistle was written. To this I answer, that tyrants and those like them, do not produce such effects by their abuse, but that the ordinance of God ever remains in force, as the institution of marriage is not subverted though the wife and the husband were to act in a way not becoming them. However, therefore, men may go astray, yet the end fixed by God cannot be changed.

    Were any one again to object and say, that we ought not to obey princes who, as far as they can, pervert the holy ordinance of God, and thus become savage wild beasts, while magistrates ought to bear the image of God. My reply is this, that government established by God ought to be so highly valued by us, as to honor even tyrants when in power. There is yet another reply still more evident, — that there has never been a tyranny, (nor can one be imagined,) however cruel and unbridled, in which some portion of equity has not appeared; and further, some kind of government, however deformed and corrupt it may be, is still better and more beneficial than anarchy.

    Like

  69. Little Mermaid (a.k.a., Ariel, like you’ve never heard that before),
    IMO, your question is an overreaction to the Obergefell decision and misses how past decisions apply today. The part of the Kentucky law that was the restiction of marriage to heterosexual couples. So the same laws apply only they apply to same-sex couples as they apply to heterosexual couples. This has happened before in other discriminatory cases.

    BTW, I agree that our laws are not consistently enforced though I would not call it arbitrary enforcement. Those with wealth get favored treatment by our justice system.

    But you should note here that Davis was thrown into jail for contempt of court. Contempt of court charges occur when court orders are defiantly disobeyed. Davis definantly refused to follow the orders of the court. She served 5 days and was released when the judge was satisfied by the fact that the people under her were following the orders of the court regarding the distribution of marriage licenses.

    Now tell me how does the word “crush” apply here? In jail for 5 days for difiantly refusing to obey a court order and is released 5 days later cannot be seriously categorized as “crushing” someone.

    Now how you framed it leads to what bothers me. And what bothers me is how some Christian “leaders” will use Davis and a selective use of the facts to manipulate my fellow religiously conservative Christians in a number of ways from instigating protests against same-sex marriage to building the number of their own followers. How you framed 5 days in jail for a contempt of court charge is, IMO, a result of such manipulation.

    Like

  70. Yes, the same Calvin who said in his commentary on Daniel 6:2:

    ”For earthly princes lay aside their power when they rise up against God, and are unworthy to be reckoned among the number of mankind. We ought, rather, to spit upon their heads than to obey them.”

    …and commented on Jeremiah 1:9-10:

    “Why are prophets and teachers sent? Truly to call the whole world to order; not to spare their hearers but to denounce them freely whenever there is need, even to threaten them when they appear obstinate. If the teacher allows himself to be impressed with any sort of superiority in men, he will not dare to offend those whom he thinks distinguished by power or wealth, or by some reputation for wisdom or honor. There is no remedy against such fears, except for teachers to keep God before their eyes and to be assured that he is the author of their words. When their minds are raised to God, they can look down on all human heights and excellencies. This is the purpose of the words God uses, ‘See, I have appointed you over nations and kingdoms.’ Here God affirms that the authority of his Word is so great that it makes subject to itself whatever is high and mighty upon earth — even kings not excepted.”

    And the list can go on….

    Like

  71. Setting aside the sadness of dutch on dutch crime, makes me weepy, the charitable reader of Calvin would likely stick with his NC commentary on 1 Peter 2

    “Were any one again to object and say, that we ought not to obey princes who, as far as they can, pervert the holy ordinance of God, and thus become savage wild beasts, while magistrates ought to bear the image of God. My reply is this, that government established by God ought to be so highly valued by us, as to honor even tyrants when in power. There is yet another reply still more evident, — that there has never been a tyranny, (nor can one be imagined,) however cruel and unbridled, in which some portion of equity has not appeared; and further, some kind of government, however deformed and corrupt it may be, is still better and more beneficial than anarchy.”

    But let’s be nice to Calvin, he was still a subject of a particular historical context. And his counsel to the Huguenots is a better case example of the outworking of his understanding than even his commentaries.

    Like

  72. Curt Day
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
    Little Mermaid (a.k.a., Ariel, like you’ve never heard that before),>>>>

    Brother Curt, actually I had never been called Ariel before. I forget who started that. Not a bad name. It’s angelic, even. I know one person named Ariel, and he has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. Lives on an island in the Caribbean…

    Curt:
    IMO, your question is an overreaction to the Obergefell decision and misses how past decisions apply today. The part of the Kentucky law that was the restiction of marriage to heterosexual couples. So the same laws apply only they apply to same-sex couples as they apply to heterosexual couples. This has happened before in other discriminatory cases.>>>>

    Yes, but how does the federal government avoid being discriminatory when a woman is put in jail for her faith. You can say it was because she would not sign the marriage licenses. She would say it was because of her faith. They should have anticipated conscientious objectors and made provision beforehand.

    The judges all knew that this law had the potential to undermine religious liberty. Kennedy tried to put a bandaid on the wound, but in doing so did not use the words of the 1st Amendment – but you must know that.

    What was their plan? Did they plan to come down hard on anyone who dared to disobey their ruling? The judge sure acted swiftly. He could have fined Ms. Davis and ordered her name taken off the marriage licenses and others to sign them. Instead he took the harshest possible route. Why did he do that?

    Curt Day:
    BTW, I agree that our laws are not consistently enforced though I would not call it arbitrary enforcement. Those with wealth get favored treatment by our justice system.>>>>

    Gotta’ keep the traffickers happy – the ones who donate huge amounts of money to certain politicians, right? Who else benefits from open borders? Open for what?

    Curt Day:
    But you should note here that Davis was thrown into jail for contempt of court. Contempt of court charges occur when court orders are defiantly disobeyed. Davis definantly refused to follow the orders of the court. She served 5 days and was released when the judge was satisfied by the fact that the people under her were following the orders of the court regarding the distribution of marriage licenses.>>>>>

    Oh, I didn’t know that. See, I’ve been underwater for awhile and I just came up for air. 😉

    Curt Day:
    Now tell me how does the word “crush” apply here? In jail for 5 days for difiantly refusing to obey a court order and is released 5 days later cannot be seriously categorized as “crushing” someone.>>>>>

    She was in there until he made sure she couldn’t interfere. How long was he willing to let her stay there? If no one had gone to her aid, would she still be there? You don’t know. The intention was to force her to submit to the decision of the Supreme Court.

    Curt Day:
    Now how you framed it leads to what bothers me. And what bothers me is how some Christian “leaders” will use Davis and a selective use of the facts to manipulate my fellow religiously conservative Christians in a number of ways from instigating protests against same-sex marriage to building the number of their own followers. How you framed 5 days in jail for a contempt of court charge is, IMO, a result of such manipulation.>>>>

    Sir, you do not have a category for my reaction. Pray to God you never will have one. Maybe your reaction is the result of some kind of manipulation?

    Anyway, check out the case of the judge in Oregon. I don’t think Huckabee has discovered him yet.

    Like

  73. Well, it’s actually Da. 6:22, but in light of the context Calvin is not contradicting himself in his I Peter commentary. The context is the king forcing Daniel to worship an idol. No 2ker would disagree with this:

    “Daniel, therefore, here defends himself with justice, since he had not committed any crime against the king; for he was compelled to obey the command of God, and he neglected what the king had ordered in opposition to it. For earthly princes lay aside all their power when they rise up against God, and are unworthy of being reckoned in the number of mankind. We ought rather utterly to defy than to obey them whenever they are so restive and wish to spoil God of his rights, and, as it were, to seize upon his throne and draw him down from heaven.”

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  74. Ariel,
    Again, she was not jailed for her faith. She was jailed for refusing to obey a court order. There is nothing in the Christian faith that would prohibit her from giving marriage licenses out to same-sex couples that would allow her to give marriage licenses out to heterosexual couples who plan to partitake in an unbiblical heterosexual marriage.

    But something else comes into play. That something else whether one can use one’s own faith as a justification to practice discrimination.This goes back to Jim Crow days where some Christians actually believed that the separation and discrimination that occurred during Jim Crow was biblical.

    Now if she wanted to practice her faith, she could have resigned. But from what I’ve read, she was ataking an aggressive approach to the office and the spreading of her faith. And thus, she was trying to block same-sex marriages from taking place. The courts here are more concerned about protecting the equal rights of same-sex couples than the actions based on faith by any religious person who would be practicing discrimination. Remember, she had a public, not a religious institutional, office. BTW, I saw the following comparison before. Should we allow Quakers to be in charge of issuing gun licenses.

    BTW, the judge released her pretty close to the time that the dispensing of licences resumed

    Finally,, I think the intention of your reaction is good. What made me say what I did is not you, it is the selectivity which some Christian leaders have exercised in describing the Davis Dilemma. As for whether I am being manipulated? That is a possibility for any of us and, as for myself, I might be the last to know. But my first awareness is this: How can we preach the Gospel to people who perceive us as unnecessarily wanting to take their rights and who do not want them to be treated as equals in society? Will check the judge in Oregon.

    Like

  75. for he was compelled to obey the command of God, and he neglected what the king had ordered in opposition to it.

    No 2ker would disagree with this:

    If by agreement you mean clerks must acquiesce to issuing abominable fake gay marriage certificates and Christian lawyers must defend the right of “gay parenting”. Probably in the same way Christians could argue for the repeal of anti-bestiality laws.

    Like

  76. Curt Day
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
    Ariel,
    Again, she was not jailed for her faith. She was jailed for refusing to obey a court order. There is nothing in the Christian faith that would prohibit her from giving marriage licenses out to same-sex couples that would allow her to give marriage licenses out to heterosexual couples who plan to partitake in an unbiblical heterosexual marriage.>>>>>>

    She refused to obey a court order that violated her faith. It also violated the oath of her office, since she was in complete agreement with the US Constitution and with the constitution of the state of Kentucky when she took her oath of office. Is it her fault things changed?

    Curt Day:
    But something else comes into play. That something else whether one can use one’s own faith as a justification to practice discrimination.This goes back to Jim Crow days where some Christians actually believed that the separation and discrimination that occurred during Jim Crow was biblical.>>>>

    Jim Crow laws were in clear violation of the US Constitution. They also violated natural law, since a human being’s skin color is an accidental property, not part of the essence of being human. Our laws should reflect that. They were unjust no matter how you look at it.

    Curt Day:
    Now if she wanted to practice her faith, she could have resigned. But from what I’ve read, she was ataking an aggressive approach to the office and the spreading of her faith. And thus, she was trying to block same-sex marriages from taking place. The courts here are more concerned about protecting the equal rights of same-sex couples than the actions based on faith by any religious person who would be practicing discrimination. Remember, she had a public, not a religious institutional, office. BTW, I saw the following comparison before. Should we allow Quakers to be in charge of issuing gun licenses.>>>>

    She is an elected official. If a Quaker were elected to such a position, and took an oath to uphold the constitution, then they obviously know what they are getting into. Besides, not all Quakers are opposed to owning a gun. So, if a Quaker were elected as the gun license issuer, then it would be safe to assume that they were in agreement with the 2nd Amendment.

    Curt Day:
    BTW, the judge released her pretty close to the time that the dispensing of licences resumed>>>>

    Those under her were coerced and their jobs threatened if they did not comply.

    Curt Day:
    Finally,, I think the intention of your reaction is good. What made me say what I did is not you, it is the selectivity which some Christian leaders have exercised in describing the Davis Dilemma. As for whether I am being manipulated? That is a possibility for any of us and, as for myself, I might be the last to know. But my first awareness is this: How can we preach the Gospel to people who perceive us as unnecessarily wanting to take their rights and who do not want them to be treated as equals in society? Will check the judge in Oregon.>>>>

    That is a good question, Curt. What is your answer?

    See, you might think I am thinking only of Ms. Davis. I am thinking of her. I do not like to see Americans hauled off to jail for their sincerely held beliefs, especially religious ones. I would be outraged to see a same sex couple hauled off to jail for daring to call themselves married, even though such a couple is in violation of natural law as well as the revealed will of God. I am thinking of something bigger – like the whole 1st Amendment. Have you read what the Supreme Court judges said about the relationship of this ruling to religious liberty in general?

    Now, if it is only about signing marriage licenses for a very small minority of people who feel they have been unfairly treated, then that is one thing. However, if this ruling is going to be used beyond that, then there is a big problem.

    I think we have only just begun to see the fallout for religious liberty from this ruling. I hope I am over reacting. I really do, but given the nature of human government – described in the book of Daniel as beasts and in Revelation as Draconian, then I am not so sure I am over reacting.

    Hey, be careful out there on land. 😉

    Like

  77. Mark quotes out of context, gets instruction on the context, and responds with a cheap shot. But that’s how w—w rolls.

    Like

  78. Mark,

    Interesting how quickly you go lowbrow, given your love for the law and all. You know, all those applications of the 9th commandment . Again, I made a point years ago that we do not bring church discipline against libertarians who vote against civil enforcement of sexual sins such as homosexuality or bestiality. I never spoke or suggested advocating for any laws. The fact that you refuse to accept a clarification and use anything you can to make your theological opponent look bad demonstrates you are not to be taken seriously when speaking for God’s law. Understanding Calvin’s view is an interesting topic, if you can discuss it like an adult and refrain from personal attacks. Should I hold my breath and hope for the best?

    Like

  79. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink
    Mark quotes out of context, gets instruction on the context, and responds with a cheap shot. But that’s how w—w rolls.

    Muddy swoops in, unable to counter Van Molen’s principled argument, unleashes personal attack, does victory dance.

    Anybody can play your cheesy little game, tough guy. Fact is, nobody’s laid a glove on Mark’s argument, although you do excel at sneaking up on people and hitting them with a chair, first me now him. That’s how Old Life rolls.

    Like

  80. Todd, you won’t live long doing that. W__w married politics and the two became one flesh. The only bad tactic is the one that doesn’t get cheers from the crowd.

    Like

  81. vd, t, learn how to use code.

    Sure someone laid a glove on Mark — Calvin.

    Wanna try reconciling Calvin quotes? That’s where real history lives.

    You’re just a historical wannabe (hence mugging with John Fea).

    Like

  82. D. G. Hart
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, learn how to use code.

    Sure someone laid a glove on Mark — Calvin.

    Wanna try reconciling Calvin quotes? That’s where real history lives.

    You’re just a historical wannabe (hence mugging with John Fea).

    Nice drive-by, Dr. Calvinism: A Selective History, but Van Der Molen’s mopping the floor with you.

    Like

  83. Mark and the Resisters, try a thought experiment and every time you think magistrate and citizen think father and son. Now how does resist the tyrant (who doesn’t compel you to do anything wrong but to do things you don’t like very much) look? That’s right, yours is the political version of taking the side of the whiny little twink who thinks mowing the lawn on Saturday when he’d rather be water skiing twists the situation into a portrayal of his dad as a tyrant and himself a mistreated slave (huff, puff).

    Like

  84. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink
    Curt, you want a question answered? He’s all cut ‘n paste, and in categories:
    – personal insults like Butch, the Eunuchs, etc.
    – about the OPC: it’s small, it is the PCUSA, etc.
    – on the RCC: it’s big, it isn’t like its members.
    – dashing chivalry to defend Mermaid from dialogue.
    – references to Calvinist rebellion.

    It seems like I’m missing a category but you get the idea: he doesn’t actually answer questions.>>>>

    Aw, Brother Muddy, my Muddy Buddy, you hurt my feelings. We had a pretty good exchange, was that yesterday? I try to answer Brother Hart’s questions, but a lot of what he says to me doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    I had a good conversation with Curt Day today. Now, I don’t know very much, let alone everything, but this kind of friendly banter is, I hope, helpful.

    Sometimes you guys get a little, how shall I say it, testy – like you’re annoyed or something.

    Not sure why any of you would be annoyed with me, but you see. Tom is my friend. I started following his blog because he is quite an expert on religious liberty in the United States from Colonial times ‘till now.

    It resonates with me. Now, you may think I grew up in a conservative Christian home, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Well, I started going to church by myself when I was a little girl, but the family was pretty much made up of backslidden Lutherans, atheists, radicals, and union organizers.

    We are all coming from somewhere and going somewhere. We follow the Lamb where He leads, I hope.

    I love them all. Loved them then. Love them now. Anyway, now I got all nostalgic and mushy.

    Hey, man, you have a good rest of the evening, okay?

    Like

  85. Ariel,
    The answer to the question you wanted me to answer is this: You can’t preach the Gospel very well under those conditions unless you are sharing the Gospel with those who share your convictions about taking away the rights of others. Is that what we want to do?

    Finally, neither Davis nor others are being sent to jail for their beliefs. They are being sent to jail for defying court orders. I share Davis’ belief that homosexuality is against what the Scriptures teach and I am not in jail.We can’t use religious beliefs to deny the rights of others while saying that we are then being punished for our beliefs. As for those who took Davis’ place, yes, they have the same court order to follow that Davis did. That should be understandable.

    And how far things go regarding our relationship with society over the same-sex marriage issue partially depends on us. Will we recognized the conferred rights of others or will we use our religious beliefs as a reason for denying others their rights? If you go to my blog and look up the most read blogpost, you will see a bigger picture of what I believe about this subject.

    Like

  86. “Rights talk” begs the question; it’s not an argument.

    The refutation is that there is no right to homosexual “marriage” because the laws of Kentucky [and elsewhere say] marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

    The Supreme Court has made up this “right” out of thin air. The question is whether anyone’s going to fight what’s called “judicial supremacy,” which itself is nowhere in the Constitution.

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/07/15266/

    The Unsoundness of Judicial Supremacy
    by Paul R. DeHart
    within Constitutional Law, Politics

    Decisions of the Supreme Court that go beyond power delegated to the judicial branch or are contrary to the Constitution are null and void. To protect our constitutional republic, citizens, states, and the other branches of the federal government must resist any such decision.

    Now me, I don’t think this is going anywhere, because there aren’t enough people with enough guts to fight, and as we see with the Eunuchs, not even to raise a protest. But those who try to steamroll over the argument don’t understand it–or don’t want to.

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  87. TVD,
    Your assertion about Rights talk begs the question.

    BTW, you have no refutation there because state laws are subject to The Constitution. They cannot violate The Constitution and the Supreme Court is the final judge regarding what is consistent with The Constitution and what isn’t.. And since the Supreme Court found that state laws restricting marriage to heterosexual couples only violated the 14th Amerndment, the Supreme Court had the duty to refute the part of those state laws that restricted marriage to heterosexual couples only. One can argue against the decision, but if The Constitution is to be regarded as the law of the land, then one cannot refute the effects of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

    Like

  88. Hart—That kind of job security only happens in Vatican City or the former Soviet Union

    mcmark—And also the New York City teacher union….

    Marilynne Robinson—Calvin had his supernumeraries, great French lords who were more than ready to take up arms in his cause, which was under severe persecution. He managed to restrain them while he lived, saying that the first drop of blood they shed would become a torrent that drowned France. And after he died, Europe was indeed drenched in blood. So there is every reason to suppose that Calvin would have thought his movement had lost at least as much as it gained in these efforts to defend it, as he anticipated it would. Specifically, in some degree it lost its Christian character,

    I spoke not long ago at a homiletics conference in Wittenberg. There were people there from many distant parts of the world, and not a soul from France. I asked why there were no French people there, and was told that Catholics were not as focused on preaching as Protestants. I told them there are in fact Protestants in France. I told them how to find the Église Réformée on the Internet, preaching and music and all. I am aware of them myself because no Christian population anywhere has ever defended its beliefs with more courage against more entrenched persecution than the Protestants of France. These cultural erasures are almost always more apparent than real

    The terrible massacres of Protestants in France in the sixteenth century, whether official or popular in their origins, reflect the fear that is engendered by the thought that someone really might destroy one’s soul. If someone had asked a citizen of Lyon, on his way to help exterminate the Calvinists, to explain what he and his friends were doing, he would no doubt have said that he was taking back his city, taking back his culture, taking back his country, fighting for the soul of France.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2015/sep/24/marilynne-robinson-fear/

    “The conversation around this issue never stays long with hunting. It goes instead to the Second Amendment. Any literalist reading would notice the founders’ words “well-regulated” on one hand, and on the other the alarm that arises among the pro-gun people at the slightest mention of anything that resembles regulation, and their constant efforts to erode what little regulation there is. The supposed neglect or abuse of this revered document, and the supposed “defense of the Second Amendment,” is leveraged on that other fear, the fear that those bland blue helmets might be gathering even now, maybe in Canada, to commence their internationalist march into the heart of Texas. Will we wake to find ourselves betrayed by our own government!!”

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  89. Paul Helm—“With one hand Calvin was working to find a leader for the Huguenots. With his other hand he was preparing a band of prophets who, on returning to France, would fortify the Huguenots against any tendency to compromise or temporise. From 1556 onwards he foretold that this was to be a war to the death, and that God was assuredly on their side. Calvin was not so much lecturing on the prophets as regarding the prophetic books as manuals to help himself and his hearers to be prophets in Jeremiah’s and Daniel’s line. He speaks of overthrowing the entire papacy, of ‘the enemy’ (p.132) and prays to the Lord (at the close of each Lecture) for his promised success. So a part at least of Calvin’s self-understanding was seeing himself in a fairly unqualified way as a prophet of the Lord. The papists are superstitious, covenant breakers, bastards, possessed of the madness of idolators, frenzied and delirious, driven and possessed by Satan. (pp.133-34)

    Despite championing the gospel of sovereign grace for sinners, Calvin frequently treated his opponents as if they were beyond God’s reach. In the lectures on the prophets it was the papacy, fit only for destruction. In the case of an individual such as Sebastian Castellio, who was once a friend, then a disappointment and finally a pest. In controversy with him his attitude was similarly flinty and implacable. Calvin wrote to him in a way that never entertained the thought that the grace of God could reach him, that Christ’s ‘blood can make the foulest clean’, that Castellio could undergo a change of mind. Instead he treated him like dirt. As a prophet, did John Calvin think that he knew who the reprobate were?”
    – See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/articles/john-calvin-as-sixteenthcentury-prophet.php#sthash.s21LPz73.dpuf

    Like

  90. Zrim, exactly. Plus, everyone from Aristotle to Kuyper thought the family was the basic unit of society. But fathers are never tyrants. Just ask vdm,m’s favorites Tim Bayly and Doug Wilson.

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  91. Notice how Rev. Reeder does not reference himself, but consistently speaks to the church and the nation, except for maybe an occasional token reference to his own inadequacy before God. There is no doubt that he sees America as a ‘Christian nation’ like Israel, but once you point these things out, he is very good at playing the middle-left or middle-right in the land of Semantica so you will know that he is on your side, and being attacked by others for his theological positions (which is so clearly Sinaitic-Dispensational-Revivalist. What he’s saying is that it’s all our fault that this happened, because we have not prayed enough, believed enough, evangelized enough, stood enough, been martyred enough, fasted enough, given enough, supported the ‘correct and divinely-appointed candidates for office’ enough…….but he and a few others have been faithful, and because of their faithfulness, they have received divine revelation (though they will never admit it) for how to save the church and the nation……and those who disagree are lumped into the categories (Isolationist,etc.) listed in his blog.

    We are not yet even where Rome was, and that is a mercy, and we must reckon with and accept what God has ordained, and trust that He decrees all things. There is my comfort found, not with what I have not done enough of to usher in a new age of holiness and revival. Especially if my church has to pay his Embers To A Flame ministry $16,000 so that it can ‘do enough’ to get more members and put on the Pietistic yoke and stocks so I can ‘grow’ in my spiritual formation. Wake up, people.

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  92. vdm, m, yes, Machen and Calvin are in the closet with you.

    Exactly, Darryl. Right where you’d like to keep us hidden away. Calvin just turned the closet light on and shared his observation about those who excuse their unconditional surrender:

    “..those, whom the fear of men withdraws from the right course, betray by their cowardice an inexcusable contempt of God, in preferring the favor of men to his solemn commands. But this doctrine extends still more widely; for many would be [19] more than preposterously wise, whilst, under pretext of due submission, they obey the wicked will of kings in opposition to justice and right, being in some cases the ministers of avarice and rapacity, in others of cruelty; yea, to gratify the transitory kings of earth, they take no account of God; and thus, which is worst of all, they designedly oppose pure religion with fire and sword. It only makes their effrontery more detestable, that whilst they knowingly and willingly crucify Christ in his members, they plead the frivolous excuse, that they obey their princes according to the word of God; as if he, in ordaining princes, had resigned his rights to them; and as if every earthly power, which exalts itself against heaven, ought not rather most justly to be made to give way.” ~ John Calvin commentary on Exodus 1:17.

    Like

  93. And consistency, please! If we’re going to get torqued about the civil (not religious) handling of a “creation ordinance” why are you still paying taxes that make possible the teaching of evolution, etc. in the public schools?

    Like

  94. But Dutch Mark, what does Calvin have in mind here?

    Non-Dutch Calvin asked me to slip this explanation under the door to our R2k jailers:

    “We are subject to the men who rule over us, but subject only in the Lord. If they command anything against him, let us not pay the least regard to it.” Book Four, Calvin’s Institutes

    Like

  95. But you have not answered — in the 16th century context was he talking about forced adherence to RC tenets and observances? The Huguenots for example — did Calvin advise them to resist unfair tariffs and royal edicts on civil matters or idolatrous worship? Was his idea of compromise your idea of compromise?

    Like

  96. Curt Day
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 5:16 am | Permalink
    TVD,
    Your assertion about Rights talk begs the question.

    BTW, you have no refutation there because state laws are subject to The Constitution. They cannot violate The Constitution and the Supreme Court is the final judge regarding what is consistent with The Constitution and what isn’t.. And since the Supreme Court found that state laws restricting marriage to heterosexual couples only violated the 14th Amerndment, the Supreme Court had the duty to refute the part of those state laws that restricted marriage to heterosexual couples only. One can argue against the decision, but if The Constitution is to be regarded as the law of the land, then one cannot refute the effects of the Supreme Court’s ruling.>>>>>

    The Supreme Court has done great damage to the 1st Amendment through this ruling. We have yet to see the full effects of that damage not only on religion but also on freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.

    In trying to “fix” what was viewed as an injustice, they created the potential for great injustice to all Americans. …but all you can see is same sex marriage.

    The wise way would have been to allow each state to make its own laws about marriage and not interfere with them. You are missing the point, Curt. You think this is only about gay marriage. This was a power play on the part of the Supreme Court. What other rights will they find in the Constitution that were not put there in the first place? A right to freedom from religion? A right to keep religion out of the public square? A right to put people in jail who dare to exercise their 1st Amendment right outside their own homes or places of worship? A right to regulate speech inside church buildings? A right to teach our children that all who believe that marriage is only between one man and one woman are hate-filled bigots? A right to teach our children that all sexual relationships are equal and they have the right to experiment with their sexuality until they find something that makes them happy?

    What other rights are hidden in the Constitution for them to find?

    Let all same sex married couple live long and prosper. May they find happiness. I wish them no ill will whatsoever. I just don’t think we know where this is heading, but we do know what some activists are pushing for.

    Sure. Most same sex couples just want to get married and enjoy the benefits of married life – and that’s all. I wish them well.

    ——————————————————-
    TVD
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 1:13 am | Permalink
    “Rights talk” begs the question; it’s not an argument.

    The refutation is that there is no right to homosexual “marriage” because the laws of Kentucky [and elsewhere say] marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

    The Supreme Court has made up this “right” out of thin air. The question is whether anyone’s going to fight what’s called “judicial supremacy,” which itself is nowhere in the Constitution.

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/07/15266/

    The Unsoundness of Judicial Supremacy
    by Paul R. DeHart
    within Constitutional Law, Politics

    Decisions of the Supreme Court that go beyond power delegated to the judicial branch or are contrary to the Constitution are null and void. To protect our constitutional republic, citizens, states, and the other branches of the federal government must resist any such decision.

    Now me, I don’t think this is going anywhere, because there aren’t enough people with enough guts to fight, and as we see with the Eunuchs, not even to raise a protest. But those who try to steamroll over the argument don’t understand it–or don’t want to.

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  97. Darryl, but every neo and theo thinks the soul of society is the church. Like Vizzini said, “You’ve heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates (Kuyper)? Morons.” Incontheivable.

    Mark, so Calvin (and Machen) would be right there with Huck the political opportunist, cheering Davis on as a useful idiot to adoring crowds and cheesy music? Then in the words of Kuyper, if that’s Reformed I’d rather be unReformed. But somehow that vision just doesn’t come to me.

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  98. Nigel, when you invoke context into the writings of someone 500 years ago, it leads to the argument that none of it is relevant now.

    Basically you have your view and someone else has his name and you have your backup and he has his, and all parties think their view of Scripture should settle the matter.

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  99. Agreed Chortles, but who dares speak exhaustively on behalf of the life work of a man like Calvin. And he contradicts himself and is plainly less accurate than he would be in light of the stream of 500 years of godly study done in his wake.

    Gets more difficult if the person wrote in Sanskrit.

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  100. Mark Van Der Molen
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink
    Calvin asks: what part of “princes” and “kings” don’t our jailers understand?

    If they’re going to argue Calvin against Calvin, what’s the point?

    Calvinism: A Selective History.

    “..those, whom the fear of men withdraws from the right course, betray by their cowardice an inexcusable contempt of God, in preferring the favor of men to his solemn commands. But this doctrine extends still more widely; for many would be [19] more than preposterously wise, whilst, under pretext of due submission, they obey the wicked will of kings in opposition to justice and right, being in some cases the ministers of avarice and rapacity, in others of cruelty; yea, to gratify the transitory kings of earth, they take no account of God; and thus, which is worst of all, they designedly oppose pure religion with fire and sword. It only makes their effrontery more detestable, that whilst they knowingly and willingly crucify Christ in his members, they plead the frivolous excuse, that they obey their princes according to the word of God; as if he, in ordaining princes, had resigned his rights to them; and as if every earthly power, which exalts itself against heaven, ought not rather most justly to be made to give way.” ~ John Calvin commentary on Exodus 1:17.

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  101. kent, when was the last time someone appealed to the Bible while writing “r2k”? All the critics of WSC related ideas all engage in historical arguments and most of these people don’t study history for a living.

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  102. vdm, m, the rake strikes forehead again. Our jailers, in a democracy, where I am a magistrate, understand princes and kings?

    Please start a gofund webpage to raise funds for your medical bills.

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  103. And, to this purpose, in reading histories, which is everybody’s subject, I use to consider what kind of men are the authors: if they be persons that profess nothing but mere letters, I, in and from them, principally observe and learn style and language; if physicians, I the rather incline to credit what they report of the temperature of the air, of the health and complexions of princes, of wounds and diseases; if lawyers, we are from them to take notice of the controversies of rights and wrongs, the establishment of laws and civil government, and the like; if divines, the affairs of the Church, ecclesiastical censures, marriages, and dispensations; if courtiers, manners and ceremonies; if soldiers, the things that properly belong to their trade, and, principally, the accounts of the actions and enterprises wherein they were personally engaged; if ambassadors, we are to observe negotiations, intelligences, and practices, and the manner how they are to be carried on. Michel de Montaigne.

    Anybody can quote anyone.

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  104. Agreed DGH, actually the use of R2K to describe people tells volumes.

    I think they make up their minds and then cherry pick from the Puritans what they want to think they see.

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  105. “actually the use of R2K to describe people tells volumes.”

    Yes, the internet creates a distance where we speak to one another in a way we would not face to face. Using a pejorative term to describe your theological opponents’ view demonstrates you do not want to debate in good faith. Imagine if I started a debate with a theonomist by saying, “let’s consider your legalistic theonomy,” or with a charismatic on spiritual gifts by calling their view “fanatical.” How far would we get? Add to that the infallible reading of the motives and hearts of your opponents, “you hold this view because you are cowards,” etc., and you see why these Internet debates are rarely worth anyone’s time. And this is not limited to any one side.

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  106. Yes, the internet creates a distance where we speak to one another in a way we would not face to face.

    How do you know I wouldn’t call your theology radical to your face?

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  107. And, to this purpose, in reading histories, which is everybody’s subject, I use to consider what kind of men are the authors: if they be persons that profess nothing but mere letters, I, in and from them, principally observe and learn style and language; if physicians, I the rather incline to credit what they report of the temperature of the air, of the health and complexions of princes, of wounds and diseases; if lawyers, we are from them to take notice of the controversies of rights and wrongs, the establishment of laws and civil government, and the like; if divines, the affairs of the Church, ecclesiastical censures, marriages, and dispensations; if courtiers, manners and ceremonies; if soldiers, the things that properly belong to their trade, and, principally, the accounts of the actions and enterprises wherein they were personally engaged; if ambassadors, we are to observe negotiations, intelligences, and practices, and the manner how they are to be carried on. Michel de Montaigne.

    Since you admit closeting Calvin and Machen, Montaigne is telling you to try another line of work.

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  108. Mark Van Der Molen
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    And, to this purpose, in reading histories, which is everybody’s subject, I use to consider what kind of men are the authors: if they be persons that profess nothing but mere letters, I, in and from them, principally observe and learn style and language; if physicians, I the rather incline to credit what they report of the temperature of the air, of the health and complexions of princes, of wounds and diseases; if lawyers, we are from them to take notice of the controversies of rights and wrongs, the establishment of laws and civil government, and the like; if divines, the affairs of the Church, ecclesiastical censures, marriages, and dispensations; if courtiers, manners and ceremonies; if soldiers, the things that properly belong to their trade, and, principally, the accounts of the actions and enterprises wherein they were personally engaged; if ambassadors, we are to observe negotiations, intelligences, and practices, and the manner how they are to be carried on. Michel de Montaigne.

    Since you admit closeting Calvin and Machen, Montaigne is telling you to try another line of work.

    Nice Hart-jitsu. 😉

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  109. vdm, m, but you’re in the closet and I’m not afraid of you. Are you a man?

    Calvin and Machen confirm “yes”. But if you let us out, you might want to re-consider your call to defend gay parenting. Dr. Psychological Projection, you are hetero, right?

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  110. The so-called lesser magistrate argument has long since descended into a farcical parody of itself among the Christian Right. See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/09/thinking-thrice-before-support.php#.dpuf

    Muddy Mahan, you mean Brad Littlejohn who did a 14 part installment eviscerating Van Drunen’s “Natural Law & Two Kingdoms”, likening his theology to Marcion’s? Yeah, that’s the guy you want to link here….LOL..

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  111. Mark Van Der Molen
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink
    The so-called lesser magistrate argument has long since descended into a farcical parody of itself among the Christian Right. See more at [link]

    Muddy Mahan, you mean Brad Littlejohn who did a 14 part installment eviscerating Van Drunen’s “Natural Law & Two Kingdoms”, likening his theology to Marcion’s? Yeah, that’s the guy you want to link here….LOL..

    I love it when people hide their argument behind a URL curtain without even an except. If you’re going to hide behind someone’s skirts, here’s how it’s done:

    https://matthewtuininga.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/the-gospel-is-social-and-we-need-to-get-it-right/

    Let me be clear. As any reader of this blog knows, I am a strong advocate of two kingdoms theology. I have summarized it here, here, and here, and I wrote my dissertation on John Calvin’s version of it. But Scott Clark’s version and Darryl Hart’s version is not the Reformed version. And it is not just their conclusions about religion in the public square that are different. These are fundamentally different political theologies.

    Yes, Calvin argued, and rightly so, that the church should only proclaim what the Word teaches. The church should stay out of public policy debates. Yes, Calvin argued, and rightly so, that the kingdom of Christ is spiritual. It cannot be conflated with the moral transformation of secular society. But Calvin also affirmed that the Word teaches much about society and that the church must proclaim these teachings. And when he said that the kingdom of Christ is spiritual he meant essentially that the kingdom of Christ is eschatological, not that it has no implications for material social life (as I show here). Remember, we are talking about the theologian who recovered and reestablished the diaconate as a spiritual, materially oriented office (again, as I show here). I have written much about this and will not rehash it all here.

    Scott and Darryl are both friends to me, and I am grateful for all they have done for me over the years. But their thinking on these points is not clear and it is not helpful.

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  112. Ariel,
    Two points. First, what damage to the First Amendment has the Obergefell decision brought? For the only exercise of freedom of religion I see Conservatives bring up is the freedom to discriminate against those in the LGBT community.

    Second, your assessment about the best decision the Supreme Court could have made in the Obergefell decision is practically based, not Constitutionally based. And even practically based, there are flaws. One flaw consists of not treating those from the LGBT community as being fully equal in society. Another consists of the conflicts that would follow when a same-sex couple who could legally marry in one state moves to a state that prohibits same-sex marriage.

    The final flaw is that it rests on the same philosophy that said that slaver and Jim Crow were state’s rights issues only.

    BTW, again, the Supreme Court based its Obergefell decision on the 14th amendment. It could have also based it on the 1st Amendment. For people who are involved in same-sex couples have religious views or the right not to have the religious views of others forced on them.

    Like

  113. Changing the subject, how in the world did Jacksonville State give that game away to Auburn? And how is Jacksonville a state?

    Like

  114. TVD
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Mark Van Der Molen
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink
    The so-called lesser magistrate argument has long since descended into a farcical parody of itself among the Christian Right. See more at [link]

    Muddy Mahan, you mean Brad Littlejohn who did a 14 part installment eviscerating Van Drunen’s “Natural Law & Two Kingdoms”, likening his theology to Marcion’s? Yeah, that’s the guy you want to link here….LOL..

    I love it when people hide their argument behind a URL curtain without even an except. If you’re going to hide behind someone’s skirts, here’s how it’s done:

    https://matthewtuininga.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/the-gospel-is-social-and-we-need-to-get-it-right/

    Yep, talk abandoning the “other side”. Matt Tuininga sees the light, then former ally Charter turned critic having his comments deleted. Old Lady Life is left with about 4 guys in a circle jerking on folks thinking they’re really smart tough guys.

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  115. Curt Day
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink
    One flaw consists of not treating those from the LGBT community as being fully equal in society.

    You keep insisting on begging the question with a false premise. Discriminating against homosexuals is not the same thing as discriminating against homosexuality.

    Fortunately for you, that false argument won anyway.

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  116. Mark,
    I get that you disagree with those of us who are sympathetic to dgh’s arguments for the spirituality of the church. I also get that good natured ribbing can devolve into cheapshots…the comment section here is more chatting with the fellows at the bar than a scholarly symposium.

    But… you have described yourself as an officer in the church. Your vulgarity in that last comment is over the top. I don’t mean to be a scold or an opportunist here, but your spiritual health is far more important than winning an inconsequential internet debate. If Darryl so gets under your skin that you can’t control yourself, perhaps staying out of commboxes is the wiser path.

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  117. Todd, the only other time I heard of Jacksonville State was them getting to the hoops final for one of the UCLA wins under Wooden. I think it was Artis Gilmore and Larry Kenon leading the way.

    But back then only one team could go from a conference so it was 2/3 mid major nothings filling the brackets while the ACC sent one team despite holding 4 of the best 6 teams in country some years, leading to a lot of garbage teams losing the final game

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  118. sdb
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink
    I don’t mean to be a scold or an opportunist here

    Heh.

    He should have said “Onanists.”

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  119. vdm, m, I know English is your second language, so here’s a suggestion/correction.

    It’s either “toe the party line”

    or

    “back the party line”

    Back toeing sounds like something you might do in a closet.

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  120. vdm, m, like I said, I’m sorry you have trouble with English.

    What don’t you understand about this:

    if lawyers, we are from them to take notice of the controversies of rights and wrongs, the establishment of laws and civil government, and the like; if divines, the affairs of the Church, ecclesiastical censures, marriages, and dispensations;

    And for you that’s radical.

    That you think this radical is hilarious.

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  121. D. G. Hart
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, so what’s your point. You’re too much hidden behind another Dutch Calvinist’s skirt.

    Dr. Hart, the point is that whatever you’re selling is neither Biblical nor particularly true to Calvin and Reformed theology.

    Which would be OK if you didn’t side with the bad guys all the time. The shizz hath hit the fan, because good men did nothing and left all the dirty work to the Falwells and Robertsons, which is why the Curt Days of this world are still getting away with faulty arguments, because the Christian ones were even worse.

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  122. TVD,
    I am begging the question with a false promise no more than you are and probably not at all.

    For one thing, we can’t discriminate against homosexuality without discriminating against homosexuals. The latter discrimination follows the former unless you are implying that the latter discrimination cannot occur by definition.

    Other than that, in a society based on religious freedom, what right do we have to discriminate against either?

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  123. vd, t, what you think is siding with the bad guys may actually be asking the good guys not to be so bad.

    You? You’re neither fish nor foul. You think you are arbiter of all things Roman Catholic, biblical, and Calvinist. You are the pope who never goes to church.

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  124. sdb
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink
    @tvd why do think better arguments would help?

    I think it might have. They almost won in France by focusing on the children and the family, not the [im]morality of homosexual relations. Kids deserve a mother and father.

    The battleground now of course is religious freedom. In the least, Christians need to give some reasonable objections to becoming part and party to institutionalizing homosexuality, if only for reasons of swinging public sentiment toward legal protection for conscientious objectors.

    The fact is, the American people were sold a bill of happy “Will & Grace” fiction, sloppy and dishonest “science,” and social intimidation and rhetorical violence [“bigot”]. So we caved, and bought the Barney version of a very complex physio-psychological issue.

    The fact is, we had no idea what we were doing, and still don’t.

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

    I have very little faith that “religious freedom” alone will swing American public sentiment. Some re-litigation of the issue–actually intelligent and principled discussion for the first time–will be necessary to swing public opinion, hopefully that enough reasonable people will wonder, “what the hell have we done?”

    The “because the Bible says so” explanation didn’t work then, and as we see in the largely unsympathetic case of Kim Davis, it ain’t gonna work now either.

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  125. D. G. Hart
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, what you think is siding with the bad guys may actually be asking the good guys not to be so bad.

    You? You’re neither fish nor foul. You think you are arbiter of all things Roman Catholic, biblical, and Calvinist. You are the pope who never goes to church.

    Grow up, Dr. Hart. Every time you resort to personal attack like this, you admit you got nuthin’. Or get younger. You’re too set in your ways, too committed to your “brand.” You aren’t able or willing to defend Biblical morality beyond a perfunctory whisper. The shizz hath hit the fan, dude, St. Bartholomew’s Day for the natural law. Pretend you have children and imagine what the state is going to do to their minds. C’mon, dude, I don’t want to give up on you.

    Curt Day
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 10:09 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    I am begging the question with a false promise no more than you are and probably not at all.

    For one thing, we can’t discriminate against homosexuality without discriminating against homosexuals.

    Not true. You just keep waving the word “discrimination” like a magic talisman. And you know what? It worked, see above. But it’s not an actual argument. I already stipulated “discrimination.” Children deserve a mother and a father, not two of one and none of the other. Damn right I discriminate.

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  126. TVD,
    It isn’t the actual argument for who? And the word is not some magic word, it describes real acts and real conditions that hurt people.

    But again, prove Muddy Gravel wrong by answering a question:What right do we have to discriminate against homosexuality or homoexuals in society?

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  127. Todd, I was a big Walton fan, best when he helped the Celtics raise a banner. The twitter account for the fake Bill is excellent at twisting his earnest and corny comments

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  128. Tom, there really isn’t a definitive Reformed view of ancient times that stops all argument for most topics.

    Please beware of anyone using terms like “the decided opinion of the Reformed 400 years ago” to try to steamroll differing views. They have bats in the belfrey.

    Another red flag is worship of the Westminster Divines… or Puritans.

    And as DGH noted earlier, these folk never use Scripture when they deem themselves in the correct stream of majority opinion or worship the Divines.

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  129. kent
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 11:20 pm | Permalink
    Tom, Curt gets away with it because who can honestly take him seriously enough to respond to in earnest?

    Oh, Kent. Those arguments won. We lost, because the Scandal of the Evangelical Mind [look it up] is that there isn’t one [see Kim Davis].

    Curt Day is an expert on all the cliche arguments on gay marriage. Take “discrimination” and “bigot” out of their rhetorical arsenal, they’re helpless, and they don’t even realize why. But it took us too many years to uncover their trick, too late for America. It was such a great trick Curt still don’t know how dependent he is on it, although he’s starting to realize.

    I’ve found Curt to be a completely honest argue-er. It’s just that he was handed a palette of false premises by our education system, and has never had those premises questioned. It never occured to him that the premises are questionable!

    He paints with the colors he was given. [Only shades of red. 😉 ]

    But the Evangelical Mind paints with only one color, with no shades: Because the Bible says so.

    Curt’s side won the debate, and deserved to. My point here is that Biblical morality is defensible via natural law, which means in real life too. If you can’t prove it in real life [kids deserve a mom AND a dad, and sorry, everybody knows a gal can’t be a dad], then it’s not a natural law.

    I dunno what VanDrunen’s all about because he doesn’t seem to set foot in the larger [Thomistic natural law] Christian world that I study, and if he doesn’t want to play with the grownups [such as the Witherspoon Institute], then he’s useless except for circle jerk fantasy league.

    Actually, VanDrunen’s rather a talisman himself around here, never quoted directly, pointed at behind some mysterious r2k curtain over there somewhere, the Keyser Söze of Old Lifean political theology.

    Why here, let me quote him, then. 😉

    [M]ost of the civil affairs which Calvin made answerable to the Consistory can be said to have a spiritual dimension. Certainly the issues of marriage and family that took up so much of the Consistory’s attention are matters that, while clearly civil, also implicate the spiritual condition of people and thus are of rightful concern to their pastors and elders. Broadly, one might say that since people can fall into sin in any area of life, no area of life can be completely slotted as civil and not at all as spiritual.

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  130. kent
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 11:17 pm | Permalink
    Tom, there really isn’t a definitive Reformed view of ancient times that stops all argument for most topics.

    Please beware of anyone using terms like “the decided opinion of the Reformed 400 years ago” to try to steamroll differing views. They have bats in the belfrey.

    There’s not a “definitive Reformed view” of anything. That’s the point. You got Lesbyterians took over half of what used to be your church.

    That’s exactly my formal objection to Darryl and the Eunuchs arguing Calvin against Calvin, let alone glossing over 400 years of “Calvinist/Reformed “resistance theory” to which we owe whatever’s left of our religious freedom in American society. Haven’t you been following the discussion, bro?

    Whose Calvinism is it, anyway? Mark Van Der Molen argues it’s not Dr. Hart’s, and he’s kicking Darryl’s ass, despite the last remaining Onanists circling…their wagons.

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  131. Mark, i think it’s cool that you apologized. We all have plenty of things for which to apologize. But ask yourself if you shouldn’t get more upset with papists, medalists, semi-Pelagians, and neo-Social Gospel than with a small bunch of guys who believe what you believe, worship as you do, probably vote as you do, but prefer (and believe to be biblical) a different type of ecclesial-societal engagement. Is it worth it?

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  132. vd, t, incoherent yet again. The bile clouds your brain. First you say the Bible says so argument won’t work. Well, what the hades do you think 2k advocates have been saying? But to pound the Old Life noggin again you then say 2 minutes later that I won’t defend biblical morality. Actually, I do. But I’ve long been saying that biblical morality won’t sell in the public square. First you agree. Then you don’t.

    “Woman” comes to mind.

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  133. vd, t, “But the Evangelical Mind paints with only one color, with no shades: Because the Bible says so.”

    Yet again you cut and paste from From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin.

    Is it a Dutch thing to imitate Side Show Bob?

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  134. vd, t, no, your material and formal objection to me is personal. You don’t have to agree with me. But to make statements like I don’t know what I’m talking about is not exactly a conversation starter, nor does it show any kind of consideration of what might be an informed argument. Have you read Quentin Skinner? Philip Benedict on resistance theory? Your beef is with the literature. You wanna be a historian. Why not be content with your day job and your weekend church?

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  135. TVD,
    If I won the debate, it is because when I asked a question, you acted like one boxer did and shouted ‘No MAS, NO MAS!’

    The natural law argument doesn’t work because it is steeped in religion. For what many can point point to when one relies on natural law is that homosexuality can be found in nature. Anmials from approximately 1,500 species practice homosexuality and it bring benefits to the species.

    In the end, there is no justification for barring homosexuality from society and thus no reason to ban same-sex marriage. But there are important reasons why it should not be allowed in the Church. That is because the Sprciptures teach against it.

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  136. Curt:
    The natural law argument doesn’t work because it is steeped in religion. For what many can point point to when one relies on natural law is that homosexuality can be found in nature. Anmials from approximately 1,500 species practice homosexuality and it bring benefits to the species.>>>>>

    I’m glad you brought this up. The obvious answer is that there are no proven benefits to the human species. Sure, some individual human beings may feel that they have benefitted from same sex relationships. Some human beings believe that being married to a person of the same sex brings them love and great personal enrichment.

    However, the human species cannot survive on same sex relationships, at least in a natural way. If two lesbians wish to have a child, they still have to rely on a male to give them one. If two homosexuals want to have a child, they still have to rely on a woman to give them one.

    Sure, there are experiments being done to be able to produce a child that uses genetic material from two males, but it still has to be combined with female genetic material if I am not mistaken.

    So, let each species do what it needs to do to reproduce. Human beings have only one way to perpetuate the species. That is through the union of one man and one woman in some way.

    The ways that are being experimented with are not natural. Will they produce a real human being? I hope that any child produced that way will be treated as a real, fully human human being.

    So, I am wondering how the scientifically enlightened hope that they can somehow violate what they consider natural selection. Nature does not select homosexual relations as the way to perpetuate the human species.

    Sure, some are working hard to get around that. So, is it now the law of nature and nature’t enlightened manipulators?

    Besides seahorses and penguins, what other species benefit from homosexual relationships? Can what they do be called personal choice and love? These are interesting philosophical, ethical, moral, and theological topics to explore, I suppose. Still, natural selection for human beings continues to be natural.

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  137. Darryl, Tom’s objection is the same as the BB’s: OL may affirm biblical morality, but more importantly it lacks sufficient moral indignation. IOW, it puts a restraint on outrage porn. The irony is how this restraint is a part of biblical morality–Tom’s and the BB’s biblical morality isn’t expansive enough.

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  138. Curt, how is finding phenomenon in nature a way to justify it? What’s with the idea that just because animals do it that it must be legitimate? Are animals angelic? Real animal lovers know better. And what’s with the bifurcation between society and church? If homosexuality is good for society then why is it disallowed in the church? I’m glad you’re not 2k.

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  139. Zrim,
    You missed the point. If you are going to use natural law in your argument, how does witnessing the beneficial effects homosexuality has in different species going to support your argument?

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  140. Ariel,
    What species can survive on same-sex relationships only? And what you ask about same-sex relationships not providing new borns that will ensure the survival of the species doesn’t address the homosexuality that exists in approximately 1,500 species. Those species are surviving, unless we are threatening their existence, because homosexuality is not the only sexuality seen in these species.

    As for the benefits, one of them is that it curbs aggression. This is found in many species including lions.

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  141. Thanks Zrim, I got called everything but a child of God on here after saying that I can’t bother to fake outrage on issues by the dozens.

    If one has a burden then go for it and not waste half your outrage on me not joining y’all…

    I have my own set of things to rage over…

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  142. Curt, what benefits specifically? It could be that what is interpreted as benefit isn’t really. Ashley Madison’s CEO’s pragmatic claim is that adultery is good for society, but the principled hearer is skeptical.

    And if you’re going the pragmatic route, why would something that benefits society be prohibited in the church? God is Lord over both after all and is one of order, not confusion. Hetero marriage and fidelity are good for both society and and the church and the principled hearer knows it without much needed more to be said. That’s how natural law works.

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  143. So I’m wading thru the comments and the usual snark, but nothing of the salient distinction.
    Like there is a moral/natural law equivalence between being opposed to alcohol and anal intercourse? Uh huh.

    Two, the whole KD thing is in many ways a bathetic and pitiful thing.
    By all rights she should have resigned.
    But then again, by all rights, the Supremes didn’t have a legal right to grant marriagehood to the sodomites and lesbians. And they should resign.
    So following her betters, KD doesn’t something pretty unreasonable; nobody get licensed and religion is the excuse.
    In the overall picture, so what?

    The Pres thinks Kaitlyn Kardashian Jenner is a brave man woman something or other and the White House throws a party and a light show for the poor little LGBQTers.
    But not a bone to the “cisgendered” who might get to exercise their freedoms if they are lucky according to the Supremes.
    The precedent is not good. First we had to tolerate legalized abortion, something our legal geniuses had to rummage around in pre Hippocratic Oath pagan history for justification. Now toleration is not enough, we have to approve and sign off on homosexual “marriages”. Totalitarianism should be so easy.

    But of course the usual 2k cool kids have all the right answers.
    We is still not persuaded and the papists, idolaters that they are, understand natural law better than their reformed betters.

    Meanwhile Benito still says, “Everything for the state. Nothing against the state. Nothing outside of the state”. Not even the state of marriage.
    Which means if China has forced abortions, what’s wrong with shotgun ssms for those opposed to them? It might teach the dowdy KD and the rest of the flea bitten horde something about our constitutional “rights” they couldn’t learn any other way. Sounds good to me.

    Besides isn’t she a repentant Democrat- something on the order of a repentant homosexual?
    Trust me, the media knows there is no such thing. She’s an uncool flake and a fraud from the get go. Fire away.

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  144. Also, the Obergefell decision changed no one’s job description. It merely stated that state marital laws that discriminated against same-sex marriages were unconstitutional and thus had to include same-sex marriages with traditional ones.

    Curt, BTQ. The state marital laws don’t discriminate against ssm anymore than the proposition that “A is not nonA”, discriminates against non A.

    We can’t use religious beliefs to deny the rights of others while saying that we are then being punished for our beliefs.

    The constitution does not guarantee the LGBQT squad a right to redefine marriage. That something bigger than all parties involved. What next? Will the Supremes outlaw gravity because it discriminates against rocks over feathers? What happens when the Marx brothers want to marry Laurel and Hardy? Do I get to go to jail if I don’t hand out a license?

    Again, I made a point years ago that we do not bring church discipline against libertarians who vote against civil enforcement of sexual sins such as homosexuality or bestiality.

    Todd, And what does the church do when the foundations are being destroyed?
    I am not talking about witch hunts in re. to sexual sins, but approving and enforcing the perversion of marriage? Is the German Christian solution the right one? Go along to get along?

    . . .and you see why these Internet debates are rarely worth anyone’s time. And this is not limited to any one side.

    Thank you.

    How do you know I wouldn’t call your theology radical racist sexist bigoted homophobic to your face?

    [lame joke alert] That you Mud, or Curt?

    First, what damage to the First Amendment has the Obergefell decision brought? For the only exercise of freedom of religion I see Conservatives bring up is the freedom to discriminate against those in the LGBT community.

    Irrelevant in light of the fact that we have federal hate speech crimes in Amerika. No, not in Orwell’s book, in the law books.

    For one thing, we can’t discriminate against homosexuality without discriminating against homosexuals.

    No, the problem Curt, is that you think discriminating against homosexuals is the same as discriminating against blacks. But even blacks like Jesse Jackson and Chris Rock discriminate against [bad word here]. IOW we’re talking behavior. The homosexuals got served at the florist, bakery etc. It was only when they wanted approval of ssm that anybody balked.

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  145. Curt Day
    Posted September 13, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink
    TVD,
    If I won the debate, it is because when I asked a question, you acted like one boxer did and shouted ‘No MAS, NO MAS!’

    You’re not even in the debate. You just say “discrimination!” as though that settles it.

    But as I conceded, it worked.

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  146. D. G. Hart
    Posted September 13, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink
    vd, t, no, your material and formal objection to me is personal. You don’t have to agree with me. But to make statements like I don’t know what I’m talking about is not exactly a conversation starter, nor does it show any kind of consideration of what might be an informed argument. Have you read Quentin Skinner? Philip Benedict on resistance theory?

    Then the scary part is that you do know what you’re talking about but you lie about it. Even worse.

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  147. “Todd, And what does the church do when the foundations are being destroyed?
    I am not talking about witch hunts in re. to sexual sins, but approving and enforcing the perversion of marriage? Is the German Christian solution the right one? Go along to get along?”

    BS,

    The church does what she is supposed to do. Preach the gospel. The foundations were destroyed in the Garden. The church does not approve or endorse any law. We have a much greater responsibility. The greatest tyranny is not the tyranny of governments, but the tyranny of sin and judgement, for which we actually have the resolution. As to your second question, the church does not allow the state to tell her what to preach or support.

    Curt,

    The law limits rights all the time and we do not consider it discrimination. Teenagers are not allowed to join the military, foreign-born people are not allowed to run for president, illegal aliens (in theory) are not allowed to get driver’s licenses, ex-cons are not allowed to vote, etc. We don’t usually speak of these restrictions in terms of discrimination. To protect the purpose of marriage in society, which is the propagation of good citizens (children), the state had always limited the institution to heterosexuals. There is nothing discriminatory about that. Don’t you think it odd that back in the first century, with homosexuality much more rampant than in our day, there was no push for homosexual marriage? What did they understand that we do not?

    I do think the reaction to Obergefell does reveal, dare I use the word, some homophobia in the church, in that the demand to have what others have has been the American way for some time now. College students want free college without being responsible and paying back their loans, the elderly want free prescription drugs for every imaginable thing (yes, there is always genuine need – big picture here), those who refuse to work want others to pay for them to stay at home and watch television, illegal aliens want the right to drive when they may not be able to read the street signs, the rich are vilified for having too much when the rest of us should have some of their earnings, etc. Politicians of course play into this envy for votes. So homosexuals come along and demand the right to marry, and all of sudden in our churches we hear that America is falling apart, the sky is falling. Gays did not invent the bandwagon, they just jumped on it (IMO that is)

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  148. Curt Day
    Posted September 13, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink
    Ariel,

    Hey, Curt,
    How’s it going? You know, I looked up the name “Ariel” and I like its meaning a lot. Yeah, I like the Disney Princesses. They are strong feminine prototypes, or at least that’s how I explain it to others.
    🙂 Maybe it’s just a girl thing.

    Here is what one website said.:
    “Behind the Name: Meaning, origin and history of the name Ariel. Means “lion of God” in Hebrew. In the Old Testament it is used as another name for the city of Jerusalem. Shakespeare used it as the name of a spirit in his play ‘The Tempest’ (1611), and one of the moons of Uranus bears this name in his honour.”

    Anyway, I like it, Curt.

    Curt:
    What species can survive on same-sex relationships only? And what you ask about same-sex relationships not providing new borns that will ensure the survival of the species doesn’t address the homosexuality that exists in approximately 1,500 species. Those species are surviving, unless we are threatening their existence, because homosexuality is not the only sexuality seen in these species.>>>>>>

    I’m not sure what you mean by survival. There is no homosexual reproduction in most species. You must mean some other kind of survival.

    Curt:
    As for the benefits, one of them is that it curbs aggression.>>>>

    Well, have you read anything about the homosexuality practiced among Alexander the Great and his men? It didn’t exactly curb their aggression.

    Besides, in these 1,500 species, how many of them are exclusively homosexual in their behavior?

    What does curb male aggression is heterosexual marriage. Not sure about homosexual marriage and male aggression. I don’t think that anyone denies that a small percentage of the human population at some time in their lives practices homosexual behavior. Among those, very few are exclusively homosexual.

    Curt:
    This is found in many species including lions.>>>>

    A case in point. Are they exclusively homosexual? Besides, they may engage in a kind of same sex behavior when necessary, but wouldn’t they rather have sex with a lioness if the alpha male weren’t so super aggressive about it?

    Also, what about the element of love that Justice Kennedy spoke of? Can lions said to be lovers in the way that human beings are lovers?

    Thanks for the response, Curt. You have a wonderful rest of the afternoon.

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  149. A state’s secretary of state receives and approves of filings that give the formal status of corporations, llc’s, etc. to businesses. The secretary receives them, reviews the paperwork, and stamps them. When they are stamped that have the authority to do business with all the legal implications of being a corporation or llc,

    A search on the Iowa Secretary of State database shows that the secretary has authorized Planned Parenthood to do business. Muslim entities have been approved. No doubt the same can be said for various false churches. The Gay Coalition has been approved.

    This looks like a pretty close analogy to the Rowan County Clerk’s duties WRT marriage. So everyone would support your secretary of state if s/he refused to offer the status to anyone because s/he objected to one of them? And you would all say the secretary is approving of them?

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  150. “a repentant Democrat- something on the order of a repentant homosexual.”

    Did someone say the Christian right is more right than Christian? BS, you do you know the difference?

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  151. D. G. Hart
    Posted September 13, 2015 at 10:25 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, and you don’t know what you’re talking about and you pretend you’re a historian.

    Personal attack, Dr. Hart, ho hum. Leave me out of it–Mark Van Der Molen wiped the floor with you.

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  152. Todd,

    The law limits rights all the time and we do not consider it discrimination. Teenagers are not allowed to join the military, foreign-born people are not allowed to run for president, illegal aliens (in theory) are not allowed to get driver’s licenses, ex-cons are not allowed to vote, etc. We don’t usually speak of these restrictions in terms of discrimination. To protect the purpose of marriage in society, which is the propagation of good citizens (children), the state had always limited the institution to heterosexuals. There is nothing discriminatory about that. Don’t you think it odd that back in the first century, with homosexuality much more rampant than in our day, there was no push for homosexual marriage? What did they understand that we do not?

    Best 2k argument against gay marriage I have come across – well said sir.

    Like

  153. a small bunch of guys who believe what you believe, worship as you do, probably vote as you do, but prefer (and believe to be biblical) a different type of ecclesial-societal engagement. Is it worth it?

    sbd, the differences are over more than just ecclessial-societal engagement. It concerns the extent of the authority of the Word of God, the nature of preaching, sanctification, the truth of the confessions and being honest about our Reformed confessions and forbears.

    Your “camp’s” leaders certainly think the fight they’ve been waging on behalf of a secular faith is worth it. To the extent that battle must be engaged, I too think it is worth it.

    Like

  154. sbd, the differences are over more than just ecclessial-societal engagement. It concerns the extent of the authority of the Word of God, the nature of preaching, sanctification, the truth of the confessions and being honest about our Reformed confessions and forbears.

    But, Mark, your chief ally here is an apostate Catholic. Yeah, so I’m thinking it’s none of that.

    Like

  155. “There are not many antidotes to this lethal combination of naivete and narcissism. Both are very comfortable states compared to growing up and confronting evil, and compared to making one’s feelings subservient to a higher standard. And comfortable people don’t like to be made uncomfortable.

    Hence the liberal attempt to either erase the Judeo-Christian code or at least remove its influence from public life. Nothing could provide a better example of contemporary liberalism than the liberal battle to remove the Ten Commandments from all public places. Liberals want suggestions, not commandments.”

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0803/prager.html

    Like

  156. Muddy Mitchell Mahan, you remind me that a niggling part of the battle is dealing with such fallacious argumentation. You’d think by now you would retire that tired routine.

    Like

  157. Mark, you’re the guy quoting out of context and going all potty-mouth (slandering officers) while defending that everything you do starts with “Christian.” But, philosophically, if an apostate Catholic totally agrees with you then I guess you’re position isn’t distinctively Reformed. You’ve become a spinmeister. Have fun with that.

    Like

  158. Mark Van Der Molen
    Posted September 13, 2015 at 11:57 pm | Permalink
    Muddy Mitchell Mahan, you remind me that a niggling part of the battle is dealing with such fallacious argumentation. You’d think by now you would retire that tired routine.

    It’s how Old Life rolls. Can’t win with the facts, not smart enough to cheat without getting caught.

    And the ad homs are dull.

    Like

  159. There has to be a better religious basis than “a Mighty Fortress is my knee-jerk reaction against everything Hart says”, eh?

    Like

  160. vdm, m, if you read the book, you’d know that 2kers are actually defending a sacred faith. It’s your faith that turns everything secular into faith. I think it’s you who are defending a secular faith.

    Be careful the rakes.

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  161. “To the extent that battle must be engaged, I too think it is worth it.”

    Mark,

    The other day a minister (myself) sought to correct a quote from Calvin you made to support your position that he suggested was taken out of context (no suggestion of intentionality btw). You had the opportunity to;

    A. Admit you may have quoted him out of context

    B. Demonstrate how you did not quote him out of context

    C. Ignore the correction and seek to insult the minister.

    You chose C

    If you are going to fight a battle against the 2k radicals in your ranks, which I don’t begrudge you, you do what you feel you need to do, at least do it honorably. As in more William Wallace and less Donald Trump.

    Like

  162. “Best 2k argument against gay marriage I have come across – well said sir.”

    Much appreciated Jed,

    see that young lady? Respect. Respect for ones elders shows Character.”

    Like

  163. I’m going to move on after this, but conversation here has sometimes substantial, sometimes funny, sometimes cantankerous but it has mostly stopped short of malicious. Mark, you and your banned ally just seem mean-spirited. Quite ironic given what you purport to represent.

    Like

  164. C’mon, Muddy — you just don’t understand the “happy culture warrior” concept. It can’t be a lack of winsomeness on their part. Look at those pictures of Kuyper. He always looks crazy happy.

    Like

  165. Winsome? Wa wa wa winsome? Did you say winsome? I would settle for not trying to damage people in their off-blog lives.

    Like

  166. Mark,

    The other day a minister (myself) sought to correct a quote from Calvin you made to support your position that he suggested was taken out of context (no suggestion of intentionality btw). You had the opportunity to;

    A. Admit you may have quoted him out of context

    B. Demonstrate how you did not quote him out of context

    C. Ignore the correction and seek to insult the minister.

    You chose C

    Actually, I believe I chose B, but since I’m going to be out of the internet loop with matters for the next 2 days, and don’t have time right now to go back through this thread, please supply me the direct citation of the “context”, and I’ll return here Wednesday and try to address your point in a less pithy fashion.

    Like

  167. Mark,

    Okay, I’ll try one more time. I quoted Calvin on his view of submission to government from I Peter 2.

    “There is then a common reason, which extols the authority of all magistrates, that they rule by the command of God, and are sent by him. It hence follows (as Paul also teaches us) that they resist God, who do not obediently submit to a power ordained by him…This, then, in short, is what Peter means, that since God keeps the world in order by the ministry of magistrates, all they who despise their authority are enemies to mankind…It may, however, be objected here and said, that kings and magistrates often abuse their power, and exercise tyrannical cruelty rather than justice. Such were almost all the magistrates, when this Epistle was written. To this I answer, that tyrants and those like them, do not produce such effects by their abuse, but that the ordinance of God ever remains in force…Were any one again to object and say, that we ought not to obey princes who, as far as they can, pervert the holy ordinance of God, and thus become savage wild beasts, while magistrates ought to bear the image of God. My reply is this, that government established by God ought to be so highly valued by us, as to honor even tyrants when in power.”

    So Calvin taught that we honor and submit to our civil authorities, even when they abuse their office and pervert God’s holy ordinances, and from his other writings we see two exceptions to this. If a lessor magistrate, appointed to defend against the higher magistrate, refuses to submit, one may follow the lessor magistrate (don’t have time to state that more precisely), and the most obvious exception, when the magistrate gives an order for you to sin against God.

    You then countered by quoting Calvin from his Daniel commentary with this quote…

    “For earthly princes lay aside their power when they rise up against God, and are unworthy to be reckoned among the number of mankind. We ought, rather, to spit upon their heads than to obey them.”

    On the surface this seems to be in direct contradiction to what he wrote above. From I Peter Calvin says to honor and obey even the Roman authorities who pervert God’s ordinance and often act like tyrants, yet here he says not to obey or honor them and instead spit upon their heads.

    I pointed out that the context of the Daniel quotation was Nebechednezzer ordering Daniel to worship him instead of Jehovah, which would be consistent with the exceptions Calvin offered to his view of submission to government elsewhere. Quote in larger context…

    “Daniel, therefore, here defends himself with justice, since he had not committed any crime against the king; for he was compelled to obey the command of God, and he neglected what the king had ordered in opposition to it. For earthly princes lay aside all their power when they rise up against God, and are unworthy of being reckoned in the number of mankind. We ought rather utterly to defy than to obey them whenever they are so restive and wish to spoil God of his rights, and, as it were, to seize upon his throne and draw him down from heaven.”

    Point being that all genuine Christians, 1k, 2k, whatever, agree with this, that if any authority orders us to sin against God we refuse and obey God. Nothing Calvin writes here is inconsistent with anything a 2k Christian has ever written, as far as I know. So your Calvin quote does not support your 2k criticisms.

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  168. and…Paul: “With good will, render service as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord who is the Master of all and there is no partiality with Him so doo nothing in a spirit of partiality.”

    Like

  169. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 13, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink
    Curt and Webbster, the fall happened, and mankind is not the same as the animal kingdom. Are you really going to base our ethics and policies on gay salamanders?>>>>

    Well, you don’t have to get upset about it, Muddy Gravel. No, I don’t want ethics and policies based on gay salamanders or alleged beneficial homosexual behavior among lions. Somebody does, though.

    WWCD. What would Calvin do?

    Like

  170. Webbster, I don’t actually get upset with you, though admittedly I neglect scattering flower petals in the the combox. Chortles seems nicer, but beware the “Ewok with a Switchblade” thing he does.

    So, OK, then you and Curt disagree on that line of reasoning. Curt, what’s up with that? “Natural law” doesn’t mean we ain’t nothin’ but mammals so we’ll do what they do on the Discovery Channel.

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  171. The Discovery Channel, where they crow about training a primate to learn “human language” through years of training and I’m not convinced it’s more than I can train my dumbest dogs to obey in commands and various responses.

    And then I think of less than brilliant children I have met who have picked up 5 languages spoken around them at home with the greatest of ease before they start school

    And the Discovery Channel insists man has nothing special about him in general knowledge….

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  172. D. G. Hart
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 6:47 am | Permalink
    vd, t, so what did the liberals do to you to erase taking the wafer at mass from your defense of public Christianity?

    That doesn’t make any sense, Dr. Hart, and “the wafer” is crude, beneath someone of your reputed scholarly dignity.

    Like

  173. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
    Webbster, I don’t actually get upset with you, though admittedly I neglect scattering flower petals in the the combox. Chortles seems nicer, but beware the “Ewok with a Switchblade” thing he does.

    So, OK, then you and Curt disagree on that line of reasoning. Curt, what’s up with that? “Natural law” doesn’t mean we ain’t nothin’ but mammals so we’ll do what they do on the Discovery Channel.

    That’s so completely not what “natural law” is. Dr. Hart’s defenders look pretty bad right now. He makes his followers stupider, a rare gift for an “educator.”

    Like

  174. TVD
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink
    Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
    “Natural law” doesn’t mean we ain’t nothin’ but mammals so we’ll do what they do on the Discovery Channel.

    Upon further review, Mr. Gravel’s double negative seems to equal not agreeing that we can hope to be no better than what we see on Discovery Channel. Withdrawn with apologies.

    Like

  175. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
    Webbster, I don’t actually get upset with you, though admittedly I neglect scattering flower petals in the the combox. Chortles seems nicer, but beware the “Ewok with a Switchblade” thing he does.

    So, OK, then you and Curt disagree on that line of reasoning. Curt, what’s up with that? “Natural law” doesn’t mean we ain’t nothin’ but mammals so we’ll do what they do on the Discovery Channel.>>>>

    Of course I disagree with Curt, but I want to know what I am disagreeing with. What does he mean? If this line of reasoning would stay on the Discovery Channel and not infiltrate our classrooms and legal system, then that’s one thing. However, don’t you get the impression that there is more going on with the Obergefell v. Hodges decision than just equal rights for a handful of gays who want to marry their same sex partners and live happily ever after like all married couples?

    I think Curt is arguing that having exclusive same sex relationships is actually beneficial to mankind. It is part of our survival. I don’t know if he means for everyone or just for those who are homosexuals. Now, if Curt is the only one with that idea, – and if that is what he is really saying – then fine. What if that is the next thing our kids will be taught or are being taught in sex ed classes? Not so fine.

    I don’t know if you R2K guys think about those kinds of things.

    Take care, Brother Muddy, my Muddy Buddy.

    Sincerely,
    Ariel Webbster Mermaid, also knows as The Little Mermaid

    Like

  176. The Little Mermaid
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink
    Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I think Curt is arguing that having exclusive same sex relationships is actually beneficial to mankind. It is part of our survival.

    Yes, he is, which is actually a principled argument. But perhaps not a true one, and what’s worse, if you argue otherwise–on the merits of the issue–they will destroy you.

    http://www.worldmag.com/2015/05/gay_marriage_advocates_launch_new_attack_on_regnerus_family_study

    This is why a lot of [almost all] academics [Dr. Hart?] keep their heads down. Hide in their bunkers. Politicians too. These people are committed, they are vicious, and they will stop at nothing. If you stand up, they will get you.

    Read how they went after Dr. Regnerus. They brought him up on charges at his university!

    We will never know the truth about whether gay marriage and gay parenting are good for society, good for the children. Anyone seeking the truth will be bullied into silence for even asking.

    Now, if Curt is the only one with that idea, – and if that is what he is really saying – then fine. What if that is the next thing our kids will be taught or are being taught in sex ed classes? Not so fine.

    This is where the rubber meets the road. J. Gresham Machen at least was concerned about the government’s hegemony over education, over the minds of our children. Unfortunately, his successors/epigones are hiding from that issue, under the cover of a questionable Biblical argument that God wants us to obey the state.

    Unless you can afford private school, your children will be taught by the state that all sexualities are equal, that 2 mommies are no different than a mom and a dad.

    That’s the fact, Dr. Hart. The rest is details. And good men are doing nothing.

    I don’t know if he means for everyone or just for those who are homosexuals. Now, if Curt is the only one with that idea, – and if that is what he is really saying – then fine. What if that is the next thing our kids will be taught or are being taught in sex ed classes? Not so fine.

    I don’t know if you R2K guys think about those kinds of things.

    Take care, Brother Muddy, my Muddy Buddy.

    Sincerely,
    Ariel Webbster Mermaid, also knows as The Little Mermaid

    Like

  177. The Little Mermaid
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I think Curt is arguing that having exclusive same sex relationships is actually beneficial to mankind. It is part of our survival.

    Yes, he is, which is actually a principled argument. But perhaps not a true one, and what’s worse, if you argue otherwise–on the merits of the issue–they will destroy you.

    http://www.worldmag.com/2015/05/gay_marriage_advocates_launch_new_attack_on_regnerus_family_study

    This is why a lot of [almost all] academics [Dr. Hart?] keep their heads down. Hide in their bunkers. Politicians too. These people are committed, they are vicious, and they will stop at nothing. If you stand up, they will get you.

    Read how they went after Dr. Regnerus. They brought him up on charges at his university!

    We will never know the truth about whether gay marriage and gay parenting are good for society, good for the children. Anyone seeking the truth will be bullied into silence for even asking.

    Now, if Curt is the only one with that idea, – and if that is what he is really saying – then fine. What if that is the next thing our kids will be taught or are being taught in sex ed classes? Not so fine.

    This is where the rubber meets the road. J. Gresham Machen at least was concerned about the government’s hegemony over education, over the minds of our children. Unfortunately, his successors/epigones are hiding from that issue, under the cover of a questionable Biblical argument that God wants us to obey the state.

    Unless you can afford private school, your children will be taught by the state that all sexualities are equal, that 2 mommies are no different than a mom and a dad.

    That’s the fact, Dr. Hart. The rest is details. And good men are doing nothing.

    Like

  178. Webber –
    “However, don’t you get the impression that there is more going on with the Obergefell v. Hodges decision than just equal rights for a handful of gays who want to marry their same sex partners and live happily ever after like all married couples?”

    As much as we might disagree, we still need to remember that the Supreme Court justices don’t go home, take off their robes, and dance on demonic pentagrams in their basements. Nor are they in a double naught top secret society whose bylaws require them to drag the world to hell. They believe certain things. And, on this point, they value personal liberty and privacy while also having an eye on cultural subclasses that are vulnerable to being mistreated or be denied basic rights. And then there’s a legal culture that’s not like Main Street culture with very little Old Time Religion. Out of this comes the SSM decision.

    Did you see my secretary of state analogy? What was your opinion on that?

    Like

  179. Ariel,
    I am not arguing that at all. Rather, I am merely trying to show the inadequacy of using natural law as an argument against same-sex marriage. I am merely pointing out that there is no universally accepted standard of natural law. And I cited research on homoseuality in approximately 1,500 species to show how some would argue against the Christian version of natural law.

    To me, the issue isn’t whether same-sex marriages would be benefitical. To me, the issue is about whether we will share society with others as equals or as being privileged above others. The seeking of privilege by some is always accompanied by the marginalization of others. So if we seek a privileged position over others, then when the pendulum swings in the other directon, we too experience marginalization. There is no need for that or for providing this kind of stumbling block where people are offended by the privilege we are seeking. When that happens, the only people we can effectively evangelize are social and political conservatives.

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  180. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 9:20 pm | Permalink
    Webber –
    “However, don’t you get the impression that there is more going on with the Obergefell v. Hodges decision than just equal rights for a handful of gays who want to marry their same sex partners and live happily ever after like all married couples?”

    Muddy:
    As much as we might disagree, we still need to remember that the Supreme Court justices don’t go home, take off their robes, and dance on demonic pentagrams in their basements.>>>>>

    You’re over reacting to the objections. No one has accused them of anything like that at all. I think you need to tone it down a bit and look at what people are actually saying.

    Muddy:
    Nor are they in a double naught top secret society whose bylaws require them to drag the world to hell. They believe certain things. >>>>>>

    They have the right to believe what they want. When they sit on the bench and judge a matter, they are bound by law. Right? They cannot legally make law – or they should not.

    Muddy:
    And, on this point, they value personal liberty and privacy while also having an eye on cultural subclasses that are vulnerable to being mistreated or be denied basic rights. And then there’s a legal culture that’s not like Main Street culture with very little Old Time Religion. Out of this comes the SSM decision.>>>>>

    Yes, they mined the Constitution to find a right that was not there in the first place. It’s there now.

    Muddy:
    Did you see my secretary of state analogy? What was your opinion on that?>>>>>

    Well, of course if all of those organizations are abiding by the laws of the state of Iowa, then there is no reason to prohibit them. All the necessary paperwork has to be paid for, signed, approved. stamped, and filed.

    You mentioned PP. The state is not obligated to fund PP. In fact, if it is found that they have broken laws, they can be fined or even shut down if they refuse to comply with the law. Same goes for any of them. Giving any organization the right to operate in a state doesn’t obligate the state to pay them anything.

    I think you misunderstand my support of Ms. Davis. She should have been given the status of conscientious objector right away and not marched off to jail.

    I am a little concerned about your theological views, Muddy. Are you sure you’re not confusing the laws of the US with the law of God? I mean, are you sure you are not more willing to obey the laws of the land than you are the law of God? Is the law of God subordinate to the laws of the land?

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  181. Curt Day
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 10:45 pm | Permalink
    Ariel,
    I am not arguing that at all. Rather, I am merely trying to show the inadequacy of using natural law as an argument against same-sex marriage. I am merely pointing out that there is no universally accepted standard of natural law. And I cited research on homoseuality in approximately 1,500 species to show how some would argue against the Christian version of natural law.>>>>

    Howdy, Curt,
    How’s it going?

    The easiest way for them to win was to frame their case in terms that all Americans understand. “We are being discriminated against, and it’s not fair.” They won. It is they who avoided the natural law arguments, since they would have a hard time winning there.

    The gay salamander and the homosexual lions are not winning arguments with the American public. Too strange. Of course, in my state the issue was put to a vote of the people, and same sex marriage won by a slim margin.

    Curt:
    To me, the issue isn’t whether same-sex marriages would be benefitical. To me, the issue is about whether we will share society with others as equals or as being privileged above others. The seeking of privilege by some is always accompanied by the marginalization of others. So if we seek a privileged position over others, then when the pendulum swings in the other directon, we too experience marginalization. There is no need for that or for providing this kind of stumbling block where people are offended by the privilege we are seeking. When that happens, the only people we can effectively evangelize are social and political conservatives.>>>>

    I have no idea who you are or what you mean by evangelizing. Maybe where you come from social and political Conservatives are given privileged status, but not around these parts. Are you kidding me?

    Here is a quote from a good article, Seven Things I Wish My Pastor Knew About My Homosexuality.

    See what you think. Is this the kind of evangelism you are talking about? Loving people, yet telling them the truth about their sin?

    “May I make two requests? Continue to love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. Practice compassion according to the root meaning of “compassion”: Suffer with me. Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it.

    I’m asking you to help me take up my cross and follow Jesus.”

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com

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  182. @tlm
    “The easiest way for them to win was to frame their case in terms that all Americans understand. “We are being discriminated against, and it’s not fair.” They won. It is they who avoided the natural law arguments, since they would have a hard time winning there.”

    That’s not quite accurate and I think its worthwhile getting this right. Andrew Sullivan is probably the single most important publuc intellectual on this issue. He was eviscerated from.the left for his proposal for gay marriage initially. In his book Virtually Normal he took the Natural Law arguments on and convinced most intellectuals that the Thomistic approach to Natural Law Theory regarding homosexuality was found wanting. He framed his argument from a philosophically conservative position (he is an RC who did his PhD work under Mansfield on the conservative political philosopher Oakeshott). A big part of the reason that the case for ssm moved so swiftly, particularly among elites, was because the grounding in NLT was so weak. The teleological foundation for an Aristotelian-Thomistic NLT has been undermined by modern biology. This is why folks like Millman argue that the better followers of Aristotle’s legacy are the evolutionary psychologists. What you see from Curt is a crude rendering of Sullivan’s argument into slogans that appealed to the intuition of the public. Asserting that NLT has a better answer by parroting Feser’s citation of George and the Witherspoon crew is not compelling.

    This is why I maintain that Natural Law is a deadend. If you want to follow Paul and say we have an innate intuition of right and wrong and call that natural law, then fine. But that view is not what Aristotle-Thomas-Maritain were arguing for who’s synthesis is commonly referred to as Natural Law Theory. NLT is as sound as intelligent design which is to say not very. Political views grounded in it will not persist which should give everyone concerned about human rights pause.

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  183. Ariel,
    But Christians were privileged in this nation at one time. One only needs to look at how religious institutsion are not taxed or that. there were Blue Laws shows hw we held a privileged place in society. The same goes with laws regarding sex. Homosexuality was once a criminal act. In fact, sodomy was illegal in many states for heterosexual couples as well. In 29 states, one can still be legally fired from one’s job because of their sexual orientation. In 1960, there was debate as to whether JFK could be elected because he was Catholic. Carter benefited greatly because his religion and when he lost, it wasn’t to a perceived nonChristian.. One of Romney’s difficulties in being elected President was because he was Mormon. Because of conservative Christian influence, Israel has been a favored nation in terms of our foreign policies. And when comes to liberating nations, we liberated Europe, but supported France’s efforts to recolonize Vietnam. And in Asia, we didn’t liberate nations from the Jaapanese as much as we just changed the owernsihip such as through proxy rulers.

    So Christianity has had a privileged existence in society even though that privilege is now quickly fading. but that wasn’t my point. I was talking seeking a privileged position rather than having one. When we seek to base laws on sex on the Scriptures, we are seeking a privileged place in society in terms of making laws that govern people’s behavior.. And it is the seeking of such a position that gives people unnecessary reasons for not wanting to hear the Gospel. For when we try to force Christian standards on society, more and more people are objecticing because all they see are people who want to control them. So when they see us wanting to control them, it becomes more difficult for use to share the Gospel.

    Like

  184. Webber:
    “are you sure you are not more willing to obey the laws of the land than you are the law of God.”

    You tend to talk of them as opposites, like Baal v. Yahweh. Normally they should be with a conjunction – “obey God and obey the magistrates” – or, with a preposition, “obey God by obeying the state.” In 99% + of the circumstances this is the way it is. Is the child obedient if he only goes along when he agrees? So I do not go by statist assumptions, I go by a Christian presumption.

    Is there a limit? Of course – when we would be required to sin, but not merely when we disagree or suffer an injustice.

    The requirement for us to pay taxes is a profound one. First, we owe the state. Boom. Then we owe them all of the taxes even if we disagree with a certain percentage of what they do, and even if they use our money sinfully. So the second part is that we are not expected to be totally separated from the sin of others.

    Like

  185. It’s hard to believe that believing the gospel, getting yourself to a good church on Sunday and trying to worship, doing your job, paying taxes, considering your neighbors, and taking care of your family is enough to change the world. It’s almost like faith is necessary.

    Like

  186. I think you misunderstand my support of Ms. Davis. She should have been given the status of conscientious objector right away and not marched off to jail.

    Why? Why, as one who willingly signed on to being a civil servant should she be afforded that special exemption as said servant? Should a Catholic cashier be allowed to exempt herself from ringing up a customer purchasing condoms? Where does it end? When do those who serve in particular capacities simply have to hold their nose and do their jobs or else remove themselves altogether? But I’ll take the Catholic cashier who gets this better than the Pentie county clerk who doesn’t.

    Like

  187. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink
    Webber:
    “are you sure you are not more willing to obey the laws of the land than you are the law of God.”

    You tend to talk of them as opposites, like Baal v. Yahweh.>>>>

    Have you ever read the book of Daniel or the book of Revelation? Human government is presented as beasts and draconian.

    Muddy:
    Normally they should be with a conjunction – “obey God and obey the magistrates” – or, with a preposition, “obey God by obeying the state.” In 99% + of the circumstances this is the way it is. Is the child obedient if he only goes along when he agrees? So I do not go by statist assumptions, I go by a Christian presumption.>>>>

    Now, you have added an interpretation to Scripture and drawn a conclusion that can be very dangerous. You are putting human government – which is described in the Bible as vicious beasts with draconian leaders – on the same level as God.

    If I obey the magistrates, no matter what they order me to do, then I am obeying God. Are you kidding me?

    Let’s take a close look at what Peter is telling Christians to do.

    1 Peter 2
    13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.…Read the book of Daniel. Read the book of Revelation. The Bible tends to present human government as in opposition to the will of God. Besides, you are talking about our government.

    In the context, Peter is talking about governors who are there to punish evildoers and to praise those who do what is right. See the words “evil” and “doing right”? The assumption is that these governors are upholding just laws and doing what is right. Most governors in our system are like that. They are trying to do what is right. Not all of them are like that. We are, or should be protected, even from judges who make unjust laws.

    Muddy:
    Is there a limit? Of course – when we would be required to sin, but not merely when we disagree or suffer an injustice.>>>>

    Back to the Kim Davis situation. She believed she was being required to sin by signing the marriage licenses. It was more than a simple disagreement. For her it was a violation of her conscience. So, according to your own criteria, she was right in what she did.

    Muddy:
    The requirement for us to pay taxes is a profound one. First, we owe the state. Boom. Then we owe them all of the taxes even if we disagree with a certain percentage of what they do, and even if they use our money sinfully. So the second part is that we are not expected to be totally separated from the sin of others.>>>>>

    Let me get this straight. You believe that the laws of the land are, in effect, the laws of God. What He allows to be passed by human government is His will. So, a Christian’s duty involves submitting absolutely to the laws of the land without question, because to question our laws is to question God.

    Are you saying that it is never Baal vs. Jehovah? A Christian will never be asked by his or her government to do anything that violates conscience, so just trust the almighty government to tell you what God’s will is. Sure, it could happen, but you have never seen a case where a Christian is told to sin rather than obey God. Is that what you are saying?

    I am not talking about paying taxes. Of course, we all pay all taxes our governments at different levels demand from us.

    You do not get to decide for another when they are being asked to sin.

    What should Christians do when the government refuses to enforce its own laws and people are being hurt by it? Here in our area, the teachers are engaged in an illegal strike. They are being allowed to continue with the strike even though they are in violation of state law. Our state attorney general is not willing to order them back to work.

    When the government is not obeying its own laws, then is that God telling them to disobey?

    That is what concerns me, Muddy. Our government’s own antinomianism is affecting all of us. Then when they come down hard on one woman for disobeying a law it makes me sit up and take notice.

    Does any of that bother you as a R2Ker? How does that influence your view that the government and God are one and the same?

    Like

  188. Webber, this discussion if fine, but you should realize I’m not going to answer “as a R2ker.”

    But I noticed this: “They are being allowed to continue with the strike even though they are in violation of state law.” But then you want Kim Davis to have full reign to disobey. Do you see that both tend to disorder?

    I’ll need to look at the rest of your comment a bit later.

    Like

  189. D. G. Hart
    Posted September 14, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, broken record but funny. You complain that others do nothing. You do nothing.

    That’s funny.

    You realize of course you’re doing the same thing right now. That’s not funny.

    Worse, you get in the way by attacking the good guys. That’s really not funny.

    Curt Day
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:40 am | Permalink
    For when we try to force Christian standards on society, more and more people are objecticing because all they see are people who want to control them. So when they see us wanting to control them, it becomes more difficult for use to share the Gospel.

    Instead, the gay marriage standard is being forced on society. There is no neutrality. Let’s be clear about that. The institutionalization of homosexuality has no scientific certainty.

    But this points up that traditional morality must be argued in its own right, not as a “Christian” morality, but merely as a reasonable one. SDB may reject natural law theory, but it’s all we got if we’re not just going to thump Bible, which is explicitly banned by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

    Unfortunately, however, the left simply doesn’t care about principled argument–they steamroll over anything that gets in their way. In Romer v. Evans, John Finnis and Robby George did successfully argue that Plato wasn’t down with homosexuality either, meaning the Bible isn’t the only grounds to oppose its institutionalization.

    http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1222&context=yjlh

    The court steamrolled over that of course, but the point is that the case could be made to the public on other than “Because the Bible says so” grounds.

    The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind is that there isn’t much of one.

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  190. Webbelo, you said this:
    _________
    “Let me get this straight. You believe that the laws of the land are, in effect, the laws of God. What He allows to be passed by human government is His will. So, a Christian’s duty involves submitting absolutely to the laws of the land without question, because to question our laws is to question God.

    Are you saying that it is never Baal vs. Jehovah? A Christian will never be asked by his or her government to do anything that violates conscience, so just trust the almighty government to tell you what God’s will is. Sure, it could happen, but you have never seen a case where a Christian is told to sin rather than obey God. Is that what you are saying?”
    _____________

    Come, on Merperson, you know I didn’t say that. I’m hoping you just got a little too excited and you aren’t purposefully misrepresenting me. I don’t think you would do that on purpose.

    It may be worth noting that you are like a lot of Protestants on this issue. If I didn’t see your previous posts I would assume you are taking Protestant w____w meds.

    Like

  191. Muddy:
    Come, on Merperson, you know I didn’t say that. I’m hoping you just got a little too excited and you aren’t purposefully misrepresenting me. I don’t think you would do that on purpose.

    It may be worth noting that you are like a lot of Protestants on this issue. If I didn’t see your previous posts I would assume you are taking Protestant w____w meds.>>>>

    I have no idea what you are arguing for. It sounds nuts. If it works for you, then I am happy for you.

    Like

  192. John Finnis and Robby George did successfully argue that Plato wasn’t down with homosexuality either, meaning the Bible isn’t the only grounds to oppose its institutionalization.

    Whether Plato opposed homosexuality or not, it is clear that a wide variety of cultures not informed by the Bible oppose it. I seem to recall the Dali Lama noting his opposition to homosexual behavior, though I hear he has softened his message on gay marriage for non-believers. Virtually every culture has had some kind of prohibition on homosexual expression

    natural law theory [is] all we got if we’re not just going to thump Bible, which is explicitly banned by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

    As far as I know (though I’m no first amendment scholar), it is still legal to thump away on the bible. Of course, this won’t get you very far since most people don’t seem to think it carries all that much weight. So the question is one of effectiveness, not legality. NLT arguments are simply a more sophisticated version of bible thumping for elites (here the relationship between YEC and ID is apropos). Does this mean, that’s all we have? Not at all – we have custom, prudence, and pragmatism – the traditional virtues of conservative thought that seem to be in short supply among erstwhile conservatives…alas. Of course the real question is how to convince the majority of voters that these political virtues are are valuable (or that NLT arguments are dispositive, or that the Bible should be the guide for our politics). I am extremely pessimistic that we are going to see a revival of conservative thought in our culture (and much more pessimistic about NLT or theonomy catching on…though perhaps pessimism isn’t quite the right word here).

    The real question moving forward is going to be over the religious exemptions and here public perception is everything. The reason the Kim Davis fiasco grates is because it will make principled religious exemption right that much more difficult moving forward. I don’t blame Kim Davis, I’m sure she is following her conscience and utterly sincere. I blame opportunistic politicians jamming to _Eye of the Tiger_ and grabbing their 5min of exposure on the nightly news.

    The existence of a problem does not entail a solution, and “just doing something” is not always better than nothing. Calls for prudence and criticism of imprudent behavior is not always cowardice.

    Like

  193. In the context, Peter is talking about governors who are there to punish evildoers and to praise those who do what is right. See the words “evil” and “doing right”? The assumption is that these governors are upholding just laws and doing what is right. Most governors in our system are like that. They are trying to do what is right. Not all of them are like that. We are, or should be protected, even from judges who make unjust laws.

    Ariel, keep reading:

    “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”

    Justice governing isn’t the fulcrum you think it is. Even the unjust are to be obeyed and honored. In fact, that is more highly prized than submitting and honoring the just ones.

    Now, you have added an interpretation to Scripture and drawn a conclusion that can be very dangerous. You are putting human government – which is described in the Bible as vicious beasts with draconian leaders – on the same level as God.

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

    Sure sounds like a higher view of human government than the cynical one you put forward. When Paul wrote this he was ruled by Nero, the one who made Christians candles to light up his garden. Paul is saying Nero is the servant of God. To obey him is to obey God. Don’t like it? take it up with Paul.

    And yet, put no hope in princes at the same time. It strikes me that all the huffing and puffing your side does about naughty princes belies a trust in them unbecoming Christians, i.e. if only we could get these bad guys into good guys all would be well. No, it wouldn’t be. Why? Not because they’re draconian, but because their time is fleeting and power weak. None of them are Jesus, even the good ones. I wonder if you could say that even if they ruled according to your idea of righteous ruling?

    Like

  194. Muddy:
    But I noticed this: “They are being allowed to continue with the strike even though they are in violation of state law.” But then you want Kim Davis to have full reign to disobey. Do you see that both tend to disorder?>>>>

    In the Davis case, the disorder is very minor, affecting a very small part of the population. Sure, if gay marriage is legal, then someone has to sign the marriage licenses. There are any number of people who could have done that. It did not have to be Ms. Davis in order to maintain public order. Her conscience can be accommodated, which it was in the end.

    That kind of thing – people being forced against their conscience to obey or be jailed when someone else can easily do what they are not able to do – can become a huge deal if no one stands up to it. There are legal ways to opt out.

    In the case of an illegal teachers’ strike, it is a bigger deal, though not the biggest, either. I am not opposed to legal strikes. They are legal. I am not opposed to teachers getting the pay they need and deserve. I am opposed to illegal strikes. If the teachers’ union and the state government are in bed together and that is why the state will not force them back to work, then there could be a huge problem of disorder and corruption.

    There are bigger deals where the government is not enforcing its laws. Think borders and immigration. Now I understand why sanctuary cities were established, at least I understand the theory behind them. However, they cannot be more than a short-term solution. They are not legal.

    Same with legalized pot in our state. When a state or a judge or a group of judges decide that laws are not changing fast enough for their taste and to suit their political supporters, then what disorder will ensue? I mean, if you are worried about disorder.

    Are you okay with that kind of thing? Since you think that human law is like God’s voice to the people, how do you like government breaking its own laws? Of course, if I talk like that, I get accused of w-w something or other that must be very bad because of some such reason or other.

    Well, don’t say I was unwilling to discuss this with you. I don’t think this discussion is going anywhere, but thank you for responding. You have your sincerely held religious beliefs and they seem to help you make sense of this crazy world we live in.

    Take care, Muddy Buddy

    Like

  195. “I am not opposed to legal strikes. They are legal.”

    So is gay marriage in Rowan County, KY. So what’s the problem, why the opposition and affirmation of disobedience?

    Like

  196. Mermaid, when do you think people should be able to disobey?
    1) Whenever they are bothered?
    2) Whenever they disagree with the law?
    3) Whenever the law is unjust?
    4) Whenever their religion disagrees with the law?
    5) Whenever obedience would require them to sin?
    ______________

    BTW, if the government breaks its own laws by selective enforcement that does not in anyway affect what you should do. That’s the standard political response rhetoric but it has nothing to do with your duty before God.

    Like

  197. sdb
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
    John Finnis and Robby George did successfully argue that Plato wasn’t down with homosexuality either, meaning the Bible isn’t the only grounds to oppose its institutionalization.

    Whether Plato opposed homosexuality or not, it is clear that a wide variety of cultures not informed by the Bible oppose it. I seem to recall the Dali Lama noting his opposition to homosexual behavior, though I hear he has softened his message on gay marriage for non-believers. Virtually every culture has had some kind of prohibition on homosexual expression

    natural law theory [is] all we got if we’re not just going to thump Bible, which is explicitly banned by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

    As far as I know (though I’m no first amendment scholar), it is still legal to thump away on the bible. Of course, this won’t get you very far since most people don’t seem to think it carries all that much weight. So the question is one of effectiveness, not legality.

    Actually, the argument in Romer was precisely over whether opposition to homosexuality depended on the Bible, which would make it patently unconstitutional.

    http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1449&context=wmborj

    This does not mean that a law is invalid if it was enacted with religious
    motives; that would mean, as Michael McConnell has argued, “that those whose
    understandings of justice are derived from religious sources are second-class
    citizens, forbidden to work for their principles in the public sphere.””2 5 It does,
    however, mean that those with moral objections to homosexual conduct have an
    obligation to translate those objections into secular terms.2” “The absence of a
    strong secular justification for the categorization is the best evidence that the
    program favors religion over nonreligion, or one religion over another.”‘ 7
    Efforts to translate religious objections to homosexual conduct into secular
    terms have been, at least as of this writing, a conspicuous failure.2 8 Thus,
    there is some reason to suspect that even if some of the purposes of laws
    discriminating against gays do not violate the Equal Protection Clause, those
    purposes nonetheless violate the Establishment Clause.

    Like

  198. Zrim:
    And yet, put no hope in princes at the same time. It strikes me that all the huffing and puffing your side does about naughty princes belies a trust in them unbecoming Christians, i.e. if only we could get these bad guys into good guys all would be well. No, it wouldn’t be. Why? Not because they’re draconian, but because their time is fleeting and power weak. None of them are Jesus, even the good ones. I wonder if you could say that even if they ruled according to your idea of righteous ruling?>>>>>

    Lotsa’ huffing, puffing and what looks to be chest pounding coming out of Brother Zrim, here.

    You have not addressed the subject of antinomian rulers – ones who are not judging lawfully even according to their own laws.

    You are ignoring the fact that in our system, judges do not make law.

    The fact that there are authorities put in place by God also assumes that those authorities are subject to their own laws and they are also subject to God. In the Roman system, there were legal mechanisms whereby the citizens could appeal – and Paul appealed to Cesar. Citizens could also present a defense, as Paul did before Agrippa. Remember, too, when he reminded the Roman authorities that they had unlawfully arrested a Roman citizen.

    If you are going to be sola scriptura, then read the whole thing, not just the parts you believe support you. You are using Scripture to support a specific American political position that makes our government out to be our rulers. Actually, in our system, it is the other way around. The authorities are subject to the will of the people, especially as expressed through congress.

    You are not presenting a complete biblical picture of human government and how Christians are supposed to live in a wicked generation. Our system presupposes that human beings are sinful, so that is why there is such a marked separation of power. It is hard to change our Constitution, and it is supposed to be hard. It is supposed to be changed by a lawful process. The Supreme Court did not want to follow that lawful process, so they took it upon themselves to write same sex marriage into the constitution. Hey, we’re the Supremes, and we can do it if we try.

    They did it. Don’t be a sore winner. Don’t bible thump and chest pound just because your side won. What have you won?

    Like

  199. Muddy:
    BTW, if the government breaks its own laws by selective enforcement that does not in anyway affect what you should do. That’s the standard political response rhetoric but it has nothing to do with your duty before God.>>>>

    That is the apostle Paul response. Remember when he confronted the authorities for jailing him unlawfully? Remember when Paul appealed to Cesar?

    Your duty before God may involve reminding the authorities what the law is and as respectfully as possible demanding that they obey their own laws. It’s called the rule of law.

    What’s so hard about that? Why all the fatalism, Muddy? It doesn’t make sense. If it makes sense to you, then I am happy for you.

    Like

  200. Hey, Muddy Buddy, this is an interesting quiz. I’ll take it. Good questions, actually.

    Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, when do you think people should be able to disobey?
    1) Whenever they are bothered?>>>>

    No. It might bother me that the speed limit on the highway between our village and the next town is unreasonable. It is 45 when it could easily be 50. So, no. Just because a law annoys me or bothers me doesn’t mean I am justified in disobeying it. If I break the law, and get stopped, all I can say is yes, sir, I chose to break the law and I deserve whatever punishment I get. The state patrol officer – its a state highway – has a certain amount of discretion.

    2) Whenever they disagree with the law?>>>>

    No. See above. Tax laws easily fit this situation. Most laws do, in fact. We do not obey because we agree. We obey because it is right to obey laws that do not conflict with the law of God. We can also work to change laws that are unnecessary.

    3) Whenever the law is unjust?

    Maybe. Give an example. Remember that is how the south was desegregated. It took a certain amount of civil disobedience in order to get laws changed.

    4) Whenever their religion disagrees with the law?

    Possibly. That is where the “I must obey God rather than man” comes in, as well as freedom of conscience. Of course, a person may still be put in prison, but they would not necessarily be disobeying God.

    Think Pakistan where there is a Christian woman on death row for allegedly blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed. For now, there is a stay of execution while her case is on appeal.

    5) Whenever obedience would require them to sin?

    Absolutely. See #4. Again, a person may suffer because of their disobedience to civil authorities, but their disobedience would not be against God. He would not accuse them of sin even though a government might prosecute them for breaking the law.

    Now, you take the quiz to show how much of an idol human government may or may not be for you. 🙂

    Like

  201. The Little Mermaid
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
    Hey, Muddy Buddy, this is an interesting quiz. I’ll take it. Good questions, actually.

    Now, you take the quiz to show how much of an idol human government may or may not be for you. 🙂

    Right on. It’s about time.

    Per #3, would you obey the Fugitive Slave Act?

    Per #4, must Christians hand their children over to the state for indoctrination on homosexuality?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/s-bear-bergman/i-have-come-to-indoctrinate-your-children-lgtbq_b_6795152.html

    Like

  202. , but I have indeed addressed unjust rulers: “…be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.”

    And you’re missing or ignoring the larger point here, namely that the NT writers do not only assume that rulers are just and prescribe our obedience, submission and honoring only to those that are. They write in a context that would scandalize our modern sensibilities about personal freedoms and religious liberty. And yet nothing even close to the sorts of caveats your side advances. Only prescriptions to submit and endure. I’m as modern as you, I know what it’s like to read these things and hold my breath. But can you admit as much, or will you continue to read the Bible with modern lenses: “You are using Scripture to support a specific American political position that makes our government out to be our rulers. Actually, in our system, it is the other way around. The authorities are subject to the will of the people, especially as expressed through congress.” A popular sentiment to be sure, but that’s not actually how our system works. But even if it were, have you considered that if our system invites the ruled to conceive of themselves as the rulers that it’s actually at odds with the Bible which teaches that there are civil authorities and citizens and that the latter are to submit to the former? But your view correlates with the other modern notion that children should be put on a pedestal and parents adore. I don’t know if you’re a parent, but if you are, you know how misguided that is. There are parents (magistrates) and there are children (citizens) and no matter what pretty theory anybody entertains, in the real world there is a natural order and hierarchy to things and human beings ought to relate according to it. It’s remarkable how you get this when it comes to the definition of marriage and how women and men should relate but take a left turn at Albuquerque when it comes to how citizens are to relate to their civil authorities.

    If your reasoning was applied all the way through then, being innocent but executed by the human authorities which was also God, man Jesus would never have died,

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  203. Zrim:
    If your reasoning was applied all the way through then, being innocent but executed by the human authorities which was also God, man Jesus would never have died,>>>>

    Zrim, there comes a time in a discussion to just give it up. That time has arrived for you.

    Like

  204. Right, Ariel, because it’s impossible to have such an over-realized sense of justice that it would prevent Jesus from going to the cross. Wait, isn’t that what Peter did (and received a stunning rebuke for it)? Must be nice to be so beyond human folly.

    Like

  205. As soon as I take over, I’ll do what I want.
    I do that now, though.
    But when I’m King I’ll do it with impunity.
    Mel Brooks was right.

    Like

  206. Mermaid, the way you swim back and forth between pleasantries and “show how much of an idol human government may or may not be for you” – it brings a wince and a tear, though that could be the smoke in my eyes.

    Facts from Acts: Paul appealed to his rights as a Roman citizen under in a way that was indisputable. So he saved himself a beating and later exercised his right to appeal to Caesar. Of course Peter would have sinned had he not preached Christ, so there was disobedience. Other than that all I see is submission to procedures and submission to punishment from the magistrate.

    Mermie, slaves were supposed to put up with their situation. The Christian religion is not as earthly-revolutionary as you would like it to be.

    I saw you swim away from Z’s comment on Jesus submitting to the authorities and rebuking Peter’s attempt to fight injustice.

    Like

  207. @tvd The paper you cite is making a different argument than you are. They are essentially applying Rawls “Public Reason”. I think we agree though that religious arguments aren’t going to sway the public. Whether you like it or not NLT falls into the same category and the case is even harder to make. There are alternatives…the ick factor held the movement back, but Howard Stern and unternet porn brushed that aside in short order. The conservative virtues I noted form a better basis for making the case.

    Whatever the case, we lost. Our loss became inevitable with the sex revolution. Antibiotics, birth control, an urban knowledge-based economy, and equality for women make it very hard to convince the hoi polloi to adopt a facsimile of Christian sexual ethics. The consequences are too remote and diffuse. The best we can hope for is tolerance. Opportunistic clowns make that harder. Rear guard battles over a lost cause may have a romantic appeal for some, but it strikes me as foolish. You call it betrayal or some-such. I see it as a call for prudence…a trait in short supply in social-con circles (notable exceptions such as Douthat and Dreher notwithstanding).

    Like

  208. sdb
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Permalink
    @tvd The paper you cite is making a different argument than you are. They are essentially applying Rawls “Public Reason”. I think we agree though that religious arguments aren’t going to sway the public. Whether you like it or not NLT falls into the same category and the case is even harder to make. There are alternatives…the ick factor held the movement back, but Howard Stern and unternet porn brushed that aside in short order. The conservative virtues I noted form a better basis for making the case.

    Whatever the case, we lost. Our loss became inevitable with the sex revolution. Antibiotics, birth control, an urban knowledge-based economy, and equality for women make it very hard to convince the hoi polloi to adopt a facsimile of Christian sexual ethics. The consequences are too remote and diffuse. The best we can hope for is tolerance. Opportunistic clowns make that harder. Rear guard battles over a lost cause may have a romantic appeal for some, but it strikes me as foolish. You call it betrayal or some-such. I see it as a call for prudence…a trait in short supply in social-con circles (notable exceptions such as Douthat and Dreher notwithstanding).

    I don’t disagree with a lot of this, esp that at this point, the best WE can hope for is tolerance–and unlike many/most of the 2k-ers here who have surrendered without protest to the arguably illegal usurpations of the Supreme Court, I’m hoping you’re including yourself in this “we.”

    “Tolerance” will be the fight for religious freedom. We lost on the Establishment Clause by arguing the Bible. The only hope now, the last ditch, is the Free Exercise clause.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

    [For those who came in late.]

    That “opportunistic clowns” make it harder is of course also true, but they should be corrected, not condemned, and that’s the problem here. The academic intelligentsia such as Dr. Hart should help these people with their arguments, not dismiss them out of hand. Pandering to the left wing inherits the wind, Darryl. They hate you, and will destroy you the moment you’re no longer useful to them.

    What would HL Mencken have thought of the Terry Gray trial that J. Gresham Machen’s church–your church–held on evolution, if JG had taken part? He’d have trashed Machen–whom he supposedly admired–without mercy.

    You cannot win favor with these people without losing.

    The Supreme Court’s usurpations should be fought–the will and guts to do so is lacking. Rather than condemn Kim Davis–and undermine her via her appearance or [possibly] non-Trinitarian theology–the First Thing is to praise her for her guts, guts sorely lacking in her pallid critics.

    I would also add here that if Natural Law Theory fails Rawls’ “public reason” test–which I’ll stipulate here only for the moment–it’s still useful to argue to Christians so they can find intellectual clarity not to mention their guts, some useful alternative to arguing “because the Bible says so.” Imagine if Kim Davis were arguing natural law instead of her Biblical fundamentalism!

    Surely that would be better on every level–legal, PR, gathering Christian support, inspiring others to join her in protesting against the tyranny of the state.

    Clever but weak people argue “X” won’t help, so what’s the use? But no one letter wins the day. Add in ABCDEF and G and mebbe you start getting somewhere.

    [Thx for a thoughtful letter, SDB. Certain battles must be fought, even if you cannot win.]

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  209. The foundations were destroyed in the Garden. The church does not approve or endorse any law. We have a much greater responsibility. The greatest tyranny is not the tyranny of governments, but the tyranny of sin and judgement, for which we actually have the resolution. As to your second question, the church does not allow the state to tell her what to preach or support.

    Todd, well yeah the fall is a given.
    But the assault on marriage is to add insult to injury.
    (Or maybe as you tell us, the first century pagans know something we don’t.)
    To the second, because the church can’t speak to laws of men for or against, (Rom. 13 means obey the state), that means quietism for all her members?
    Don’t see how that follows.
    FTM the church is not to judge the world, but the church knows homosexuality is wrong. (It’s a sin, not a law.) And the reformed 2k position is that natural law is good enough to guide the civil magistrate, meanwhile the civil magistrate tramples on the natural law. Go figure/see above on the first century pagans.

    Did someone say the Christian right is more right than Christian? BS, you do you know the difference?

    Yup I do, Mud. And your point?

    So if we seek a privileged position over others, then when the pendulum swings in the other directon, we too experience marginalization.

    Curt, like I said, if somebody wants to marry the man in the moon, have at it, just that I shouldn’t be required by “The Constitution” to officiate, bake a wedding cake or take pictures of the bride and groom uh parties.
    IOW freedom for all.

    That’s not quite accurate and I think its worthwhile getting this right. . . .

    sdb, there were any number of things which enabled them to get over.
    Redefining equality before the law to mean equal outcome; pushing the big lie that heteros could marry anybody they wanted to/whomever they loved and taking cuts ahead of incest and polamory, claiming discrimination all the while discriminating against children that are bought and sold so that ssmers can have a “family” but not a mother and a father, some civil disobedience being more righteous/equal than other civil disobedience and the list goes on and on.

    And if NL is a dead end, Rom 13, if not the 2k take on it, still says the civil magistrate knows the good and evil well enough to run society.

    As far as losing goes, what did JPJones say? IOW are you sure you are not watching too much TV? Americans are tolerant to a point, but the bake the cake beatdown is not tolerant at all and the ssm thing might just have reached its coercive totalitarian peak.

    But then you want Kim Davis to have full reign to disobey. Do you see that both tend to disorder?

    Mud, the whole point of all this is that if to whom much is given, much is required.
    KD’s sin is nowhere near what the Supremes as her lawful constitutional superiors pulled off if we’re going to keep harping on the letter of the law.
    Unless you want to argue that as a simple minded Christian, she has to obey before her pagan elders do. Fine, but then as somebody else asked, what did the first century pagans know that the Supremes don’t?

    Besides, I don’t deny the rule is to resign tho there can be exceptions. Neither do I see it as necessarily a religious freedom issue, tho it is that also to some degree.

    ciao

    Like

  210. TVD,
    Can you tell me who is being forced to participate in a same-sex marriage? Or let’s refer to the past. Were you against the repeal of Jim Crow because that meant that integration was being forced on everyone?

    Like

  211. Curt Day
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    Can you tell me who is being forced to participate in a same-sex marriage? Or let’s refer to the past. Were you against the repeal of Jim Crow because that meant that integration was being forced on everyone?

    I categorically reject the comparison of institutionalizing homosexual conduct with abridging the human rights of individual black people. As do many, many, black people who find that tactic offensive. Just cut that crap out.

    Please rephrase your question honestly.

    Like

  212. Mermaid: I think you misunderstand my support of Ms. Davis. She should have been given the status of conscientious objector right away and not marched off to jail.

    Zrim: Why?

    From a political standpoint, I agree with Mermaid. There’s a long American history of people flouting laws they perceive to be unjust or unconstitutional, and sometimes getting away with it. Certainly, a large number of people agree that jail was just a ridiculous option.

    Further, if you take a look at what Bunning did, he appears to have basically given Davis what she wanted, while maintaining the outward appearance of having smacked her down.

    To wit:

    * Davis asked for a form that would not force her to give her authority to the sanctioning of a SSM.
    * Bunning found her in contempt.
    * She filed an appeal of the contempt.
    * Bunning released her on the day of the filing of the appeal, AND ordered that the forms be changed, AND charged her not to interfere with signings in her office.

    He could have done most of that without jail time.

    Like

  213. TVD,
    You can categorically reject anything you want, the problem is that bigotry toward a group is still bigotry. And it doesn’t matter who is offended by my comparison. Differences in sexual orientation provides no justification whatsoever for mistreating people as if they deserved it while others definitely didn’t deserve mistreatment because there is no sin in one’s race. So my question stands.

    Like

  214. Jeff Cagle
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:34 pm | Permalink
    BTW, Mermaid, the new name suits.>>>>

    Which name, Jeff? I seem to pick up more nick names than a mermaid does barnacles. I actually like Ariel. It means Lion of God in Hebrew.

    I don’t know who I am anymore. 😉
    ——————————————–
    Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, the way you swim back and forth between pleasantries and “show how much of an idol human government may or may not be for you” – it brings a wince and a tear, though that could be the smoke in my eyes.>>>>>

    Aw, Muddy Buddy, don’t cry. I still love you. I am still waiting for your answers to your own questions. You were testing my obedience, I thought. Now show your obedience to God and not man. How far would you go in obeying human laws?

    MB:
    Facts from Acts: Paul appealed to his rights as a Roman citizen under in a way that was indisputable. So he saved himself a beating and later exercised his right to appeal to Caesar. Of course Peter would have sinned had he not preached Christ, so there was disobedience. Other than that all I see is submission to procedures and submission to punishment from the magistrate.>>>

    So, your problem with Ms. Davis is what again?

    MB:
    Mermie, slaves were supposed to put up with their situation. The Christian religion is not as earthly-revolutionary as you would like it to be.>>>>>

    Muddy, go to a country that does not have a strong Christian presence and history. See what it’s like. Then compare. Christianity does make a huge difference.

    MB:
    I saw you swim away from Z’s comment on Jesus submitting to the authorities and rebuking Peter’s attempt to fight injustice.>>>>

    That last sentence of his was not very well constructed. Maybe he could develop his idea a bit more. Sometimes, if the person is kind of upset and not able to express themselves well the best thing is to swim away. Anyway…

    Now, I would love to hear your answers to the questions you asked me. You gave me some clarification, but can’t you take your own test? Come on, Muddy. You were trying to trap me and prove how disobedient I am, now, weren’t you? Admit it. 🙂 So, how idolatrous are you?
    Pretty please? It’s okay. I won’t hurt you. 😉 Prove me wrong.

    You have a good evening, Brother Muddy. My prayers are with you. Not kidding. This is not easy. No pat answers will do.

    Like

  215. Curt Day
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 12:05 am | Permalink
    TVD,
    You can categorically reject anything you want, the problem is that bigotry toward a group is still bigotry.

    1) You don’t know what “categorically” means here, Curt. You need to look it up–it’s a logic term, not an emotional one.

    2) Then you go nuclear with the “B” word, “Bigotry,” the last refuge of scoundrels. “Pervert” also goes nuclear. B vs.P = Mutually Assured Destruction.

    And it doesn’t matter who is offended by my comparison. Differences in sexual orientation provides no justification whatsoever for mistreating people as if they deserved it while others definitely didn’t deserve mistreatment because there is no sin in one’s race. So my question stands.

    Gay = black. And now a new word–“mistreatment.” No human person should be mistreated. Although that’s another empty word that can be filled up with any amount of bullshit. Perverts should not be mistreated. Agree? Disagree?

    —I think perverts should be mistreated!

    This is how the war was lost, folks. Manipulation of terms. Sophistry.

    Actually, Curt, you started to argue why homosexuality in a society is a good thing. That at least was an attempt at a principled argument–although it’s not necessarily true.

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

    Curt, do you think perverts should be mistreated? Answer that first before you crawl up my butt again. We got a lotta people around here who won’t answer their own questions, much less even define their own terms.

    Proposed: We should mistreat perverts.

    Like

  216. Curt, get a grip. Denying people marriage to someone (not to marriage – period) is not the same as denying people voting rights or housing. Gays couldn’t marry another gay. How is that different from brothers can’t marry sisters? Yuck factor, anyone.

    And knock it off with the bigotry charge. Are you bigoted against capitalists?

    Like

  217. Mermaid, I’m only convinced that #5 is the case. That’s the theory. But the flesh is weak, so I might blow through a stop sign on my bike where a gravel road intersects the bike trail.

    I wonder if some of your boldness comes from living in a land of opportunity and security. Here, even Kim Davis going to jail for a few days is not going to permanently affect her ability to live and prosper. In places with inferior justice systems and harsh persecution, Christians might suffer loss of life and the ability to meet their needs if they rebelled as often as the wild-eyed bunch here would instruct them.

    And, now to revisit an old theme: the screamers here done not one jot or tittle more for the cause of freedom than those they scold.

    Like

  218. See, the purpose of stop signs is to protect life. If the intersection has good visibility and cars come through at the rate of about 7 in a 24 hour period there is a negligible chance of a car/bike accident. But if I had to stop and unclip every time only to look both ways on country gravel road, 6th commandment violations would be like popping corn in my head.

    To understand the law is to be above the law. – lawyers.

    I am free. Between earth and sun I soar on wings of liberty. – Muddy Livingston Seagull

    Like

  219. Jeff, my point wasn’t about jailing. It was about indulging Davis as a conscientious objector. Why should she be afforded that status? I understand compromise is a facet of politics, but she signed on as a county clerk. There is such a thing as precedent, and where does this indulgence end? Do your job and hold your nose if you have to, or resign. Continue to flout? Repercussion.

    But who took the jail option seriously anyway? Not Huck, who lamely offered to take her place should she be tossed in again. Grandstanding galore.

    Still, jail fixes everything.

    Like

  220. Ariel, sorry, it was a technical mistake (been having a few of those of late, ahem). I’ll try that last sentence again.

    If your reasoning was applied all the way through then, being innocent but executed by human authorities, Jesus would never have died. Or at least you should be complaining about it since it was the greatest miscarriage of justice in human history. Injustice actually saved us. This isn’t to be flippant about justice, but it is to suggest there is an eternal perspective that could help to adjust an over-developed sense of provisional justice.

    Like

  221. Zrim
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink
    Ariel, sorry, it was a technical mistake (been having a few of those of late, ahem). I’ll try that last sentence again.

    If your reasoning was applied all the way through then, being innocent but executed by human authorities, Jesus would never have died. Or at least you should be complaining about it since it was the greatest miscarriage of justice in human history. Injustice actually saved us. This isn’t to be flippant about justice, but it is to suggest there is an eternal perspective that could help to adjust an over-developed sense of provisional justice.>>>>

    Thanks, Zrim. Yes, I see your point. There are things worse than suffering an injustice. Besides, God’s plan of salvation is not hindered by human injustice. As we see in Christ’s death on the cross, God used the worst injustice in the history of the world to bring about our salvation. Catholics believe that, too, you know. 🙂

    If we as Christians are willing to preach the Gospel and clearly explain why same sex relationships are sinful – even though God is both willing and able to save the sinner our of love and because He gave His Son to be the Savior of the world – then this could result in the salvation of many. However, if we allow this decision to silence us because we are being called bigots, then how will people hear and believe?

    If we are not willing to sacrifice ourselves and expose ourselves to ridicule for the sake of Christ, then the injustice is just that.

    Besides, we are not being asked to lay down our lives, at least yet. It may very well come to that, but it will probably be much more subtle, more insidious.

    Like, we may be asked to lay down our jobs, or our reputations, and other things we value. We will be called names in an attempt to silence us and bully us into submission to our new masters. We are already being called bigots. The tragedy is that we very well may be asked to lay down our children, to sacrifice them to the dictates of the state’s definition of marriage and human sexuality.

    Are you ready for that? Have you really counted the cost?

    I just don’t think you know what you are asking for. Real persecution is no fun at all.

    …and I hope I am exaggerating the effects of this horrible, illegal decision that our Supreme Court made in their infinite wisdom. Do I respect them? In a theological way, yes. I am not going to pretend that what they did was legal, though, when it is not. They count on all of us playing their antinomian game in order for this to succeed.

    Like

  222. Just a little interjection — all this sturm und drang is just a battle between those who put the church first vs. those who put the culture first. Culturalists — we get that you don’t like our approach and have a wonderful plan for us and ‘Merica. How about shutting up, then go work your wonders and put us to shame/lead by glorious example. A few thousand NAPARCers can’t be what stand between you and victory. If that’s the case, you got 99 problems but OL ain’t one. Word.

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  223. “I just don’t think you know what you are asking for. Real persecution is no fun at all.”

    So it’s on the table. Self-preserving rebellion is the easy, natural way. Obedience is the hard road.

    Like

  224. Mrs W .re: other “horrible Supreme Court decisions made in their infinite wisdom.”

    did u know Patty Murray is the leading # 1 recipient of PP campaign funding;
    and recently received from Maria Cantwell: “The highly edited videos of Planned Parenthood that were released in July are disturbing. These videos were an attempt to attack Planned Parenthood and undermine a woman’s constitutionally protected access to legal abortion services in this country.”…“On July 28, 2015 Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced a bill to prohibit Federal funding of the Planned Parenthood Federation (S. 1881). I was proud to stand with my colleagues in support of Planned Parenthood and vote against consideration of this bill. I believe that more women should have access to affordable healthcare services — not fewer.”

    Like

  225. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink
    “I just don’t think you know what you are asking for. Real persecution is no fun at all.”

    So it’s on the table. Self-preserving rebellion is the easy, natural way. Obedience is the hard road.>>>>

    If you willingly submit to what you think is the will of God as expressed through the will of the state, then do so.

    If they tell you to send the fugitive slaves back to their owners, then do so without delay. If the state decides that you cannot teach your own children biblical morality, then do not teach them what the Bible says about homosexuality. Keep silent, because God does not want you teaching that old morality. God Himself believes you are a bigot if you do so, because the state has willed it to be so.

    Listen carefully to the state and obey its every command. It is the voice of God. If you believe that, then live by it.

    Like

  226. Fish lady, way to show no understanding of the nuance, distinction and even sophistication splained to you umpteen thousand times. Nevermind that, you’ve got rhetoric to push.

    Like

  227. D. G. Hart:Muddy, “if I had to stop and unclip every time” Let’s keep it clean. Vdm, m may be watching.

    unintended ‘nuance’ ‘implication’ …where is your scolding now, sbd?

    Like

  228. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink
    Mermaid
    in the water
    so pretty.
    Bites me
    in the hand
    and makes
    bloody bloody water.>>>>

    Muddy, yes, I am pretty. What I don’t understand is why you raise the voice of the state to such a high level and then call my rebellious because I don’t? Maybe we just don’t get one another. See, I was taught this extreme view of submission for many years. It sets a person up for all kinds of abuse.

    No, not in my marriage, but you don’t have to submit to everything someone in authority decides is right for you.

    Do you see what I mean?

    Maybe we can’t understand one another, but you bit me by calling me rebellious. It looks like you have idolized that state, making it out to be the voice of God for you. The state can be in rebellion to its own laws. In that case, who are we supposed to obey?

    Well, to lighten things up and to ease my Muddy Buddy’s pain, I will make a peace offering in the form of a video that illustrates in a comical way what happens when the state is itself lawless. What are good people supposed to do? Freeze or get down?

    Like

  229. Ariel, your entire last response to me confuses the gospel with marriage. Suffering for the gospel has nothing to do with definitions of marriage (or any other moral/social.cultural/political issue). The gospel is Christ and him crucified, full stop. If one suffers for anything else it’s not persecution biblically defined (since we’re so concerned about biblical definitions). Sometimes it’s just disagreement. Can you tell the difference? It’s an important question so don’t swim away.

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  230. Zrim, I’m kinda’ done with you guys, at least on this thread.

    Now, your response is respectful, and I thank you for that. Yes, we disagree on certain details, or we don’t. You say I confuse the Gospel with marriage. I say you idolize human government. Maybe we are both right or both wrong. Maybe I am right and you are wrong. Maybe I am wrong and you are right.

    Maybe you idolize suffering?

    Maybe it’s time to move on from this thread. I can’t stand to see Muddy Buddy bleed anymore, but I think he was joking.

    And your full stop doesn’t quite work, because He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, established His Church, sent the Holy Spirit, gave gifts to men, is building His kingdom, and will return. Will He find faith on the earth when He returns? If we do not preach the truth of the Gospel, including the truth about sin, then how can people believe?

    If we do not say clearly that our government is able to sin and do things that are illegal, then how are we teaching the truth? If we tell people that they have to obey the government no matter what they tell us to do, then how does that advance the Gospel or the kingdom of God?

    It makes sense to you, Zrim, but it is not biblical.

    If you respond, I may read your response, but don’t accuse me of dodging you, or go ahead and accuse me, or whatever you wish to say to me. We just disagree it seems, and continuing this might make my Muddy Buddy bleed more, and I can’t stand to see a grown man cry.

    Take care, Brother Zrim.

    Like

  231. Ariel, I actually avoid suffering as best I can, which makes the suggestion of idolatry odd–do those who esteem it also avoid it? The Bible, however, seems to portray it as a mark of favor. That’s counter-intuitive to me, but there it is. Now what?

    The phrase “full stop” is short hand which includes all you say (and more). The point is that the gospel is otherworldly, not this-worldly, as in my kingdom is not of this world. Why would someone say something that if he was as concerned as your are about how the world defines marriage? Marriage is going to be dissolved in the next world, so doesn’t that suggest something about tamping down the stakes on how this world goes about it? And where is there any biblical example of anyone suffering for anything other than the otherworldly message of God? Did Jesus and the apostles die because they were trying to get this world in line, or because they were a scandal to it? Who is put to death for trying to make the world a better place?

    Nobody is saying “we have to obey the government no matter what they tell us to do.” This just reveals you’re either not honestly engaging or willfully ignorant of what others are saying. Not good either way.

    Like

  232. Todd, thanks for the explanation. I don’t have much time, but wanted to get at least a preliminary response based a quick reading back through this thread. It appears to me that we agree:

    1. We can find in Calvin the beginnings of resistance theory via lesser magistrates.

    2. The point of resistance must be measured by the Word of God. Paraphrasing your formulation: if we are “directly ordered to sin”.

    3. The Calvin quote you provided should not be read to contradict the quotes I provided, but should be read together in related context.

    4. That Calvin’s successors built on that foundation in further spelling out resistance theory. (That there was further development of resistance theory founded on Calvin is the same observation made in the Witherspoon quote Mr. Van Dyke supplied. It would be interesting to get into the material from Knox in which he posits the right of private persons to resist).

    So the Calvin quotes and my reference to his “progeny” were to counter any misapprehension that Calvin and Calvinism do not teach resistance. It seems you do not join in that mistaken idea. Whether a particular person is properly employing resistance theory is a different matter, but the fact that there is in Calvinism a theory of biblical resistance should not be disputed.

    Like

  233. BobS

    “Todd, well yeah the fall is a given. But the assault on marriage is to add insult to injury.”

    My point was that whether gays can legally marry or not makes no difference as to the message of the church. People are just as fallen either way and need the same message.

    “To the second, because the church can’t speak to laws of men for or against, (Rom. 13 means obey the state), that means quietism for all her members?”

    No one has ever suggested that. Many of the members of my church are very involved politically and socially. The point is what the message and calling of the institutional church is, opposed to individual believers.

    “FTM the church is not to judge the world, but the church knows homosexuality is wrong. (It’s a sin, not a law.) And the reformed 2k position is that natural law is good enough to guide the civil magistrate, meanwhile the civil magistrate tramples on the natural law.”

    Not sure your point here

    Like

  234. D.G.,
    Are you speaking from experience or telling those who are different how they feel and how they experience life?

    BTW, apparently not all of your yuck factor is universal.

    Like

  235. Mermaid, but if the pope could become the temporal ruler of the U.S. then we wouldn’t have to admit that “government is able to sin and do things that are illegal.”

    Brilliant?

    Like

  236. Darryl, spoiler alert. So is Ariel’s take on this (one shared by plenty of Prots) the cultural variant of law-gospel confusion (he asked rhetorically)?

    Like

  237. D. G. Hart
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink
    zrim, why would you expect Mermaid to understand the gospel given her ecclesiastical trail.

    She lives it better than you, tough guy.

    Like

  238. Get you DG? I think I’m here same as others – to engage in Old Life’s aim to point the way back to the health and vigor of historic Reformed Protestantism

    Like

  239. D.G.,
    But here, we are talking about same-sex marriage. Have you asked for the opinions and life experiences of those from the LGBT community?

    BTW, I am assessing the meaningfulness of Christianity. And guess who my reference is. It is a group of ultraorthodox Jews. So do you understand what I am saying even though the analogy I am using doesn’t fit perfectly?

    Like

  240. Tom, you have a play button (“tough guy, Butch, good men doing nothing, leave the damsels alone”), but do you have an off switch?

    ps Ariel gives me credit for a respectful response but no kudos from her gallant protector. Boo hoo.

    Like

  241. Curt,
    You refer to yourself as a fundy and regularly apply OT prophets to the church as if we are still a nation. Those same prophets noted that God’s law required execution for homosexuality. I’m curious how you make sense of your application of the OT to the church. Understanf I am not criticizing you, I am simply trying to get my head around how you make sense of your progressive politics and monarchial politics in the OT.

    Like

  242. Zrim
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
    Tom, you have a play button (“tough guy, Butch, good men doing nothing, leave the damsels alone”), but do you have an off switch?

    ps Ariel gives me credit for a respectful response but no kudos from her gallant protector. Boo hoo.

    I think you have a lot of nerve intimating she’ll “swim away” from your questions when you slither away from hers. Tough guy. 😉

    The Little Mermaid
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink
    Zrim
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink
    Ariel, sorry, it was a technical mistake (been having a few of those of late, ahem). I’ll try that last sentence again.

    If your reasoning was applied all the way through then, being innocent but executed by human authorities, Jesus would never have died. Or at least you should be complaining about it since it was the greatest miscarriage of justice in human history. Injustice actually saved us. This isn’t to be flippant about justice, but it is to suggest there is an eternal perspective that could help to adjust an over-developed sense of provisional justice.>>>>

    If we as Christians are willing to preach the Gospel and clearly explain why same sex relationships are sinful – even though God is both willing and able to save the sinner our of love and because He gave His Son to be the Savior of the world – then this could result in the salvation of many. However, if we allow this decision to silence us because we are being called bigots, then how will people hear and believe?

    If we are not willing to sacrifice ourselves and expose ourselves to ridicule for the sake of Christ, then the injustice is just that.

    Besides, we are not being asked to lay down our lives, at least yet. It may very well come to that, but it will probably be much more subtle, more insidious.

    Like, we may be asked to lay down our jobs, or our reputations, and other things we value. We will be called names in an attempt to silence us and bully us into submission to our new masters. We are already being called bigots. The tragedy is that we very well may be asked to lay down our children, to sacrifice them to the dictates of the state’s definition of marriage and human sexuality.

    Are you ready for that? Have you really counted the cost?

    Like

  243. Zrim
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
    Tom, you have a play button (“tough guy, Butch, good men doing nothing, leave the damsels alone”), but do you have an off switch?

    ps Ariel gives me credit for a respectful response but no kudos from her gallant protector. Boo hoo.>>>>

    Tom is my gallant protector, Zrim. Tom is a friend. I like his music and his expertise on religious liberty in the United States. I have followed his blog for awhile, now. Good stuff.

    Now I will go back to lurking until a topic catches my interest for whatever reason.

    BTW, here’s a bit more of the Gospel for you to contemplate. It’s the cure for dualism. Heaven and earth meet in the Eucharist.

    John 6:53
    So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

    “For just as the bread which comes from the earth, having received the invocation of God, is no longer ordinary bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly, so our bodies, having received the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, because they have the hope of the resurrection.”

    -“Five Books on the Unmasking and Refutation of the Falsely named Gnosis”. Book 4:18 4-5, circa 180 A.D. St. Irenaeus

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  244. D. G. Hart
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, but I’m a better historian.

    You’re a better historian than a theologian, anyway, but that’s not saying much.

    Like

  245. Mermaid, while you’re blurring categories and blowing the so-called Roman Catholic intellectual tradition, take comfort from your papa:

    The promise that God makes to man and woman, at the beginning of history, includes all human beings until the end of history. If we have sufficient faith, the families of the peoples of the earth will recognize themselves in this blessing. Whoever lets himself be moved by this vision in any way, regardless to what people, nation, or religion he belongs, let him get underway with us. He/she will be our brother and sister, without engaging in proselytism, no! We walk together under this blessing and under this objective of God to make us all brothers in life in a world that goes forward and is born in fact of the family, of the union of man and woman.

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  246. Tom, you’re tied up in chivalrous knots. Loosen up. So Ariel paints a picture of horrors and wants to know the state of readiness. I think she (and you) should be sure to keep your shoes on at all times since shards of fallen sky can be sharp. There is a lot of hyperventilating about the loss of religious liberty these days. I demur. Religious liberty in America is alive and well. Those who whine about being called a bigot should consider the state of things for believers in other parts of the world where persecution is real and be ashamed of themselves.

    Like

  247. Zrim: in other parts of the world where persecution is real

    Zrim, agreeing with Mermaid: “it will probably be much more subtle, more insidious.”

    Jesus gives us this example- the ‘persecution’ resulting in denial didn’t seem great?: Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times. John 13:37-38

    And we’re warned much of the ‘persecution’ threat for denying the Lord comes from is within: Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1: 3 -4

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  248. D.G.,
    It isn’t Selma in what ways? Is it in that those who are gay could hide their sexual orientation while Blacks couldn’t hide their race?

    Was what Blacks had to suffer the only way to be marginalized? Did you ask the gays from the upper West Side you know what they or their friends had experienced especially the older ones? I know one gay person who disappeared from our lives for a good number number of years simply because he was afraid of what would happen to him if everybody knew he was gay. Some others had that experience while still others did not in terms of where they lived.

    Some of those from the LGBT community have been beaten and even killed for their sexual orientation what it was like to be margianalized. I remember one night after my car broke down, some guys were yelling at and threatening me because they thought I was gay. That along with the fact that gays can still be fired from their jobs in 29 states. They had been denied all of the benefits of marriage because their partners were of the same sex which can financially be devastating after a partner dies.. And if you count those gays who were alive when homosexuality was a crime or those who were afraid of letting their families know because of the reaction have indeed suffered marginalization. Those gays who could remember those times could tell you. So like Blacks who had been marginalized, one needs to ask what negative experiences gays had and how those experiences affected them before one jumps to conclusions about gays being marginalized in society. Never said that their marginalization was the same. But for many, it was there. And to think that the only way one can be marginalized is to suffer the horrors of the racism from America’s past is a rather rigid and overly concrete way of thinking.

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  249. Curt, marginalization is all emotional but not political. Thank you for adding to the politics of therapy. The state needs to include me so that I feel better about myself. Meanwhile I resent the state for including me because I used to take great pride in marginalized.

    Blacks not only felt marginal but were politically and economically marginal. You can’t say that about gays no matter how much you want to feel their pain and show your Bill Clinton self.

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  250. D.G.,
    When homosexuality was a criminal offense, it was political. In those states where a person can one can lose a job because of their sexual orientation, it is political. When you can be threatened and beaten for your sexual orientation, it the marginalization has a physical component. And that means that the other two situations I just mentioned have physical components too. So I am not sure when there are physical and external consequences to being gay why you would say that the marginalization is all emotional. Perhaps you should spend next weekend in the upper west side and talk to your gay friends about their experiences.

    And, btw, you’re more than welcome. Don’t see why introducing the politics of therapy would be a negative per se as if it has no insight into what it means to be human to offer us.

    Finally, you might want to check with your Black friends to see if they still feel marginalization. After all, we are experiencing a new Jim Crow through incarceration.

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  251. So Curt, now that gays can marry does that mean they are mainstream? Does that mean that everyone loves them? That’s the world of therapy you know, happy and well adjusted.

    Have you ever thought that politics isn’t going to give you that feeling?

    And how would you “feel” if you could no longer “feel” outraged over injustice?

    You may be a political type — and mind you — not one found in the NT. But if you have being all prophetic, it’s a free country. And so far I’m free to marginalize your prophecy.

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  252. We agree then, but who disagrees?

    Todd, could quote a number of comments in these threads (and others) that suggest disagreement. But rather than doing that, it is simpler to ask Darryl if he can register agreement with the 4 points, just as you did.

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  253. Urrbody double down on the culture and public morality stuff. It has never gone wrong. Finney, late 19th/early 20th prot libs, Kuyper’s Amsterdam, the Dirty South, English puritans, Lutheran pietists in Scandinavia, etc. It always works out great. Did I forget to mention first century Empire Xians? No, I didn’t.

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  254. vdm, m, not sure why you need my approval (or could it be you’re out to get me once more).

    The first proposition is entirely wrong historically. Calvin is not the source of resistance theory. It goes back to the medieval church.

    The other assertions — meh. Who cares? The reason for being ho hum is that those other propositions hardly explain vdm, m’s efforts to get me and take down 2k.

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  255. Proto—Paul while imprisoned in Philippi exercised his rights as a citizen in rebuking the magistrates that had criminally ordered him beaten and incarcerated. Or did he? He didn’t pursue it. He exposed their grievous injustice, shamed them and then walked away. He could have presided over their removal from office and possibly being put in chains themselves. He dropped the matter and let it go. What a contrast compared to the vicious impulse to litigate in today’s Evangelical community, to call on the state to violently enforce their will on others.

    Paul appealed to Caesar. There were dozens of assassins after him and his appeal was a means to insure his continued high-security incarceration and ultimately his Apostolic mission to Rome. Paul wanted to arrive in Rome in chains. That was important to him in terms of his ministry. His actions were not normative but even if they were, they do not support the activism and litigation of the Christian Right that seeks revenge when wronged. Paul’s appeal to Caesar is something very different from contemporary politically motivated Christians filing lawsuits and demanding the exercise of rights.
    http://www.proto-protestantism.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-travails-of-babylonian-bureaucrat.html

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  256. D.G.,
    To me, the issue isn’t whether they are mainstream, the issue is whether they feel threatened or feel the need to hide. For example in those 29 states where gays can be fired from jobs because of their sexual orientation, some feel the need to hide because they feel threatened.

    We might have to consider those questions where gays face the threat of physical violence or societal stigmatization.

    The issue isn’t making being gay mainstream, it is a matter of society tolerating gays so that gays don’t feel threatened. And politics can contribute to that toleration.

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  257. The first proposition is entirely wrong historically. Calvin is not the source of resistance theory. It goes back to the medieval church.

    I see the wording could have been better. The proposition was not meant to claim Calvin was the “source” of all resistance theory, but rather that *in Calvin* you can find beginnings of Calvinistic resistance theory.

    Is that an agreeably accurate proposition to you?

    As for props 3-4, “meh” doesn’t answer whether or not you agree they are accurate.

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  258. From Calvin’s preface to his Institutes:

    “Your duty, most serene Prince, is, not to shut either your ears or mind against a cause involving such mighty interests as these: how the glory of God is to be maintained on the earth inviolate, how the truth of God is to preserve its dignity, how the kingdom of Christ is to continue amongst us compact and secure. The cause is worthy of your ear, worthy of your investigation, worthy of your throne.

    The characteristic of a true sovereign is, to acknowledge that, in the administration of his kingdom, he is a minister of God. He who does not make his reign subservient to the divine glory, acts the part not of a king, but a robber. He, moreover, deceives himself who anticipates long prosperity to any kingdom which is not ruled by the sceptre of God, that is, by his divine word. For the heavenly oracle is infallible which has declared, that “where there is no vision the people perish” (Prov. 29:18).

    Calvin must be out to get Darryl too.

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  259. Mark, nothing in the history of mankind is more fatuous and ultra -phony than the dedications written to the political monsters of the 15th to 19th centuries

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  260. Kent, pretty settled that Calvin was sincere in his letter to the King so as to defend and protect the Reformers from unjust attacks. Lives were on the line. As he later wrote, “My reasons for publishing the Institutes were first that I might vindicate from unjust affront my brethren whose death was precious in the sight of the Lord, and next that some sorrow and anxiety should move foreign people, since the same sufferings threaten many.”

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  261. vdm, m, then what are you doing taking vows in your day job to work for a polity that is “not ruled by the sceptre of God”?

    Are you out to get yourself (watch the rakes)?

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  262. Mark, I’m not going to attack Calvin for being anything but wise in what he wrote trying to save lives.

    The phoniest praise since Tertullus blew smoke up Felix in Acts 24.

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