Is Universal Suffrage One of the Benefits that Accompany or Flow from Justification, Adoption, and Sanctification?

Matt Tuininga is back to remind us of how far short the contemporary advocates of the spirituality of the church (SpofCh) fall. In this case, the proponents of 2k and SpofCh are in solidarity with the southern Presbyterian opponents of integration who formed the PCA. That’s sort of like the students at Princeton who liken the university’s faculty to the KKK on the spectrum of institutional racism. Here’s the key Tuininga challeng:

Until advocates of the doctrine of the spirituality of the church (not to mention advocates of two kingdoms theology) come to grips with the social implications of the spiritual gospel they will not be able to make the necessary distinction between inappropriate meddling in civil and political affairs (which they rightly criticize) and the church’s responsibility to proclaim the full scope of the gospel, with all of its social implications (which duty they avoid). Until we understand how the spirituality doctrine not only permits the use of church discipline and the diaconate to promote the justice and righteousness of the kingdom, but requires it, we have not grasped just what it is that spirituality means. To politicize the church is surely a horribly misguided attempt to manipulate the Spirit for our own purposes, but to muzzle the Spirit or partition the social dimension of human life from the gospel is hardly less a display of rebellion.

So the question for Tuininga is whether social advances like the civil rights movement or integration are parts of the coming of the kingdom of Christ. For instance, one of the great achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights advocates was the Voters Rights Act which prohibited local and state policies that prevented African-Americans from exercising their right to vote.

That was not the only time that suffrage included more Americans. The Puritans restricted suffrage to members of congregations, and only when Massachusetts Bay became more secular (less controlled by Christian norms) did the franchise extend to residents who were not church members. Even then, property holdings were necessary to qualify for the vote.

More recently, the nineteenth Amendment prohibited restrictions on voting based on sex.

The question for Tuininga is whether the churches should have endorsed these enlargements of the franchise? If so, why does he not complain about the Puritans who were comfortable with restricting suffrage, or the mainline churches who for so long said nary a word about women not having the right to vote?

Or could it be that most policies and laws are not benefits of the gospel the way that assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace and perseverance of the saints accompany and flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification? Is it also the case that if you can tell the difference between voting in a democracy and peace of conscience, you actually know what the spirituality of the church is?

So I throw the challenge back to Tuininga: until he can show that certain social reforms are evidence of the gospel, he needs to come down from his high horse about the deficiencies of the spirituality of the church and its proponents. I, for one, would love to believe that prison reform and abandonment of the War on Drugs as federal policy are part of “the transforming impact of the gospel.” But I have a hard time understanding how policies reformed and prisoners freed are signs of the coming of the kingdom when the people reforming the policies and the ex-cons don’t confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

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41 thoughts on “Is Universal Suffrage One of the Benefits that Accompany or Flow from Justification, Adoption, and Sanctification?

  1. Your problem is that you just want to keep using the word “providence” instead of explaining how Jesus died also for the non-elect to give them “common grace”. End of sarcasm.

    We are often taught that Christ died to make simultaneously both a “universal atonement” and a “limited redemption.” This view finds its greatest early Protestant endorsement in the school of Saumur and its greatest early champions in John Cameron and especially Moïses Amyraut.

    Amyraldism adopted Peter Lombard’s understanding that Christ’s death was “offered . . . for all with regard to the sufficiency of the price, but only for the elect with regard to its efficacy, because he brought about salvation only for the predestined.” The connotative elasticity of the phrase was used as a vehicle of mediation at Dordt, where a mixed body of “high Calvinists” and Amyraldians crafted a common response to the threat of the Arminian Remonstrance.

    http://www2.bhpublishinggroup.com/PDF/9781433669712_sampCh.pdf

    The truth that Jesus Christ is first in the counsel ought to have been the Reformed response to the Arminian challenge to the Reformed doctrine. But, In the interests of freeing the atonement from the limitation of election, many (not all) “Reformed” wanted to free “creation” from the restriction of election and redemption by placing election after the decree to create.

    Since Christ did not appear until after the decree of election, as the Mediator who would carry out the decree of election by redeeming the elect, Arminians accused the Reformed of reducing Christ to only the executor of election.

    Christ is indeed the foundation of God decree of election. The elect are chosen “in Him.” As incarnate, as God and also man Jesus, Christ is first in God’s decree. The election of sinners is founded upon the election of the man Jesus Christ.

    The main question is not whether the salvation of the elect is the sole purpose of history, or whether the development of culture by the ungodly is also a purpose of God with history, alongside the salvation of the elect. The bigger question is about Christ and “creation” That Christ is first in the counsel of God rules out the notion that God has some different independent purpose (plan A) for creation and then a plan B after the fall with “common grace”.

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  2. John Kennedy–There is no atonement that is not satisfaction to divine justice. There was no satisfaction of justice that did not avail to the purchase of redemption. To say that the atonement, being of infinite value, is sufficient for all, is beside the mark, for the question is as to the divine intention.

    Christ has power over all flesh but this was given to Him in order that He would give eternal life to as many as the Father gave Him. This power Christ has in reward of His death, but He has it for the salvation of His chosen. He died to procure all good for them.

    The doctrine of the double reference is an oil and water mixture. It is opposed to Scripture. Those who hold it are in a transition state, and occupy no fixed dogmatic ground. Sometimes they seem staunch Calvinists, and at other times utter Arminians. They try to move on the boundary line between the two systems, and would fain keep a foot on either side. But the fence is too high to admit of this. They therefore display their agility in leaps from side to side.

    To insist on a reference of the death of Christ to any who were not loved by God, whose sins were not imputed to, and atoned for by Christ, and who shall not be saved, is utterly opposed to Scripture. The way to conceal the manifest unscripturalness of this position is, to raise the dust of a double reference around it, by saying that it is not in the same sense Christ died for the elect, as for others. The special reference is not denied; it is so plainly taught in Scripture.

    But where in Scripture is the other universal sense taught? In all those passages which seem to some to teach the doctrine of a universal reference of the death of Christ, the death is seen connected either with love, or suretyship, or redemption.

    Some remain professing Calvinists, that they might keep hold of their creed, and become de facto Arminians that they might get hold of their hearers. The consequence is, that so far as a practical presentation of doctrine is concerned, they are Arminians if they are anything. It is impossible to account satisfactorily for the death of Christ, except by ascribing it to His bearing imputed sin, with a view to His making atonement for it.

    It is impossible to account for His being “made sin,” but by His substitution for a guilty people. But if men believe that Christ died for many whose sin He did not bear, whose surety He was not, and whose redemption he did not purchase, they are adrift on a current which will carry them down to Socinianism.

    http://www.the-highway.com/dual-reference_Kennedy.html

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  3. After reading Tuininga I can’t help but ask for that Old Timey Religion where you dealt with you own personal sins – gossiping, lust, drunkenness, lying, coveting, jealousy, hate, bitterness, and other Old Timey Sins.

    I promise to deal with Social Justice, Mass Incarceration , Over Criminalization, Global Poverty, Climate Change, and other Newly Discovered Sins as soon as I’ve conquered the Old Fashioned Sins.

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  4. This is where the critics of 2K lose me. If DGH wants to abandon the War on Drugs as federal policy and Dr. Tuininga does not (for the sake of argument), and both claim this to be a gospel issue, where do we go from here?

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  5. So I missed the “evangelical” ministerial lunch yesterday held in my town (there are mainline ministerial groups too). Anyway, I got an email today breathlessly telling me all the things that we discussed:

    1) National Day of Prayer – May 5th on the steps of the county courthouse.
    2) Our local crisis pregnancy center is looking for a new director – PRAY!
    3) A local judge and others are hosting a lunch about the scourge of substance abuse in our community. They have their sights set on September for a big shindig in keeping with National Recovery Month.
    4) A luncheon to prepare senior and youth ministers for an assembly on Human Trafficking which will hit public and charter schools later this spring.

    I barely have time to do my normal work – two sermons a week, teaching CE, shepherding and other church matters – to get involved with any one of these things much less try to do them all. The only way other pastors “find” the time is to cut back on sermon preparation. I’m baffled to think that somehow I’m not doing enough or not doing the right things.

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  6. Sometimes we can get the answers we want to hear by controlling the question being asked. That is what I am reminded of more by the question D.G. asks than the question Tuininga asks. For while D.G. wants to see if certain social reforms are correlated with the Gospel, we should ask whether the treating of people with preference in terms of race is a sin? We already know from James that to treat someone with preference in terms of economic class is. So how about race?

    As for the Puritans and their suffrage policies, how was different from the rest of the country. And if it wasn’t different from the rest of the country, were the Puritans just following the crowd rather than following Jesus. After all, the beginning of this nation saw economic classes take the place between those who were part of the aristocracy and those who weren’t. Only here, the dominant economic class was the landed-interest. So to only allow white landowners to have the power to vote was simply another way to install elite-centered rule. And since elites who rule have as their first concern, keeping the status quo, we see structural incentives for treating fellow elites with preference over those who did not own land. Eventually, need broke down some of those divisions. But again, treating others with preference rather than taking up the cause of the vulnerable is not smiled on in the Scriptures.

    Of course, we could debate whether the Puritans’ penchant for persecuting and even martyring Quakers was worse than their suffrage policies. We could debate that, or we save that debate for another day. But until that day, what is observable is that we Christians often replace loving others as God has loved us with our traditions and their subsequent rules taking refuge in our mathematical approach to understanding what God wants. And thus, we learn to live by the law rather than by faith.

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  7. Curt, if racial preference is sin, can it ever be forgiven?

    Or does it demand purgatory?

    You think my questions are revealing. Your concerns do the same. I see no gospel in your view of race relations.

    So I apologize for ever calling you a social gospeler. You are in the social circumcision party.

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  8. Sounds like Tuininga would say Hawkins gets spirituality of the church:

    To put it in terms that would have challenged southern Presbyterians of days gone by, that the church should not be proposing specific policies with respect to the abolition of slavery or racial integration did not mean that the church was not obligated to proclaim the sort of righteousness that rejects racial injustice and division, overcoming it with the good (and eminently social) news that God has reestablished a new humanity in Christ, one in which there is no more Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). To say, as some have, that this unity in Christ is purely spiritual, and therefore requires no concrete social expression, is directly contrary to Paul’s stated purposes in the letter to the Galatians. And to say that what is true for the church has no meaning for the world is to forget the very purpose of the church.

    Do we have to say we’re ALL one in Christ in order to be labeled not racists? And if this is such a good approach, should the 21st century church now be proclaiming the kind of righteousness that says the War in Iraq stinks?

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  9. Tuininga: “Until we understand how the spirituality doctrine not only permits the use of church discipline and the diaconate to promote the justice and righteousness of the kingdom, but requires it, we have not grasped just what it is that spirituality means.”

    So if a church member happens to be a Democrat, or votes for a candidate (either Democratic or Republican), who is either pro-choice or deemed to be insufficiently pro-life, does the Session’s responsiblity “to promote the justice and righteousness of the kingdom” imply that it is “required” to exercise church discipline against such a member?

    Yes, the call of the gospel and the fruit of the Spirit have ethical implications for the Christian’s civil responsiblity as a citizen. But sometimes those implications can get fuzzy when we are dealing with politics in a fallen world and common-grace setting.

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  10. Tuininga: “Until advocates of the doctrine of the spirituality of the church (not to mention advocates of two kingdoms theology) come to grips with the social implications of the spiritual gospel they will not be able to make the necessary distinction between inappropriate meddling in civil and political affairs (which they rightly criticize) and the church’s responsibility to proclaim the full scope of the gospel, with all of its social implications (which duty they avoid).”

    Are proclaiming “the social implications of the spiritual gospel” a part of “the full scope of the gospel”?

    If so, seems to me this comment confuses the implications of the gospel with the gospel itself. It appears to be a confusing of law and gospel.

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  11. Dave Sarafolean: “I barely have time to do my normal work – two sermons a week, teaching CE, shepherding and other church matters – to get involved with any one of these things much less try to do them all. The only way other pastors “find” the time is to cut back on sermon preparation. I’m baffled to think that somehow I’m not doing enough or not doing the right things.”

    GW: But, Dave, don’t you understand you’re suppose to be super-pastor (you know, just like Tim Keller and other celebrity pastors)? You’re suppose to do all those other things all the while continuing to fulfill your regular pastoral duties. And don’t you dare cut back on your sermon preparation time, or your visitation duties, or spending quality time with your family. (Who needs sleep anyway?) And if you can’t do it all you’re suppose to feel really, really guilty and negligent. After all, the gospel is only for the laity. For clergy, it’s law, law, law, guilt, guilt, guilt. So suck it up and get with the program.

    There, didn’t I just cheer you up?

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  12. The Marrow says “Christ is dead for you”, but the Marros does not and cannot say that “Christ’s death purchased faith for you.”

    Tim Keller’s introduction to Fefrguson’s introduction to the Marrow—“To grow in grace comes not simply from believing more in our justification. You need more than just an abstract belief in your legal exemption from punishment; you need a renovation of your view of God. When we behold God’s glory, it reorders the loves of our hearts, so we delight in him supremely, and the other things that have ruled our lives lose their enslaving power over us. This is not merely telling yourself that you are accepted and forgiven. ”

    Tim Keller explains that why we have a duty to add cultural activity to the gospel: “First, it would have to be political without being partisan. That is, it would have to equip all its members to be culturally engaged through vocation and civic involvement without identifying corporately with one political party. Second, it would have to be confessional yet ecumenical. That is, the church would have to be fully orthodox within its theological and ecclesiastical tradition yet not narrow and harsh toward other kinds of Christians. It should be especially desirous of cooperation with non-Western Christian leaders and churches. Third, the church would not only have to preach the Word faithfully, but also be committed to beauty and sanctity, the arts, and human rights.”

    William Rushton–A Defense of Particular Redemption): “The Lord Jesus Christ, to whom all the saints are united, is the only foundation and bond of spiritual union. That which unites Christians is Christ’s glorious person and work. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me. This voice which they hear is the truth of the gospel which they love and which produces among them love for each other for the truth’s sake.

    Rushton: “In the exercise of His grace those who love the gospel have fellowship with each other, and they are despised by the world and are separated from it. If the people of God are united in the bond of truth, nothing is so effectual to scatter them as the influence of erroneous doctrine, especially such as effects the death of Christ which is the ground of their unity, concord and hope.

    Rushton– “In the kingdom of Christ the advancement of doctrines which obscure the glory of Christ’s particular redemption is an offense of the most malignant kind, because it tends directly to abase the Lord Jesus and to destroy unity among His people. The effect of a ‘change the world’ ministry is not only to produce divisions among the people of God, but also to exalt the preacher.”

    http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/4-lessons-for-the-bedeviling-sanctification-debate

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  13. So if a church member happens to be a Democrat, or votes for a candidate (either Democratic or Republican), who is either pro-choice or deemed to be insufficiently pro-life, does the Session’s responsiblity “to promote the justice and righteousness of the kingdom” imply that it is “required” to exercise church discipline against such a member?

    Geoff, to be fair, I somehow doubt MT means to imply such a thing. But he does, which means he needs to go back to the drawing board and realize he’s giving cover to the neo-theos who have no trouble saying this explicitly with a straight face. He may want 2k advocates “to come to grips with the social implications of the spiritual gospel,” but he needs to come clean on how he’s giving cover to political gospels.

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  14. MT—“The blindness of many among the Christian Right is on display as they rush toward Trump as their savior while failing to grasp that he poses a far greater danger to the United States than any candidate in the Democratic Party ”

    mcmark–and Cruz and Rubio clothing themselves in religion is not?

    Matthew 6: 6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! 3 But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    5 “Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! 6 But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.

    https://matthewtuininga.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/the-hypocrisy-of-the-christian-right/

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  15. Zrim, futhermore, what will MT do when the Gary North says the gospel means the kingdom is here and the kingdom is anarcho-capitalist (plus blasphemy laws) in nature?

    Or what if the conservatives he thinks are abusing spirituality of the church are really w-w-ers who think the gospel implies we have to save people from SSM and socialism?

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  16. David Engelsma—In his monumental work on common grace– De Gemeene Gratie–Kuyper strongly warned against confusing common grace (on behalf of culture) with a common saving grace of God. It is this error that invariably attends contemporary confessions of common grace, notably in the decisions of the Christian Reformed Church. Kuyper’s common grace was purely cultural.

    DE– Kuyper expressly denied that his common grace consisted of a love of God toward all humans. Whether any doctrine of common grace can withstand the pressure to universalize God’s saving grace remains a serious question. Kuyper’s doctrine became the origin of the extension of common grace to a grace saving in nature for all humans

    DE–. Divine providence is radically different from divine grace. Providence gives Beethoven astounding musical abilities, which believers may enjoy. But this is not grace working in that modern pagan, who on his part devoted his musical abilities to his own glory and to the promotion of human life apart from God.

    “Satan could not put Antichrist on the stage of history apart from its full development under common grace” (Abraham Kuyper: a Centennial Reader, ed. James D. Bratt, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998, 179 )

    http://www.prca.org/resources/publications/pamphlets/item/1598-a-triple-breach-in-the-foundation-of-the-reformed-truth

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  17. D.G.,
    Regarding the article, the issue isn’t whether racial preference can be forgiven, the issue is whether it is a sin that, like the sin of adultery, must be preached against.

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  18. McMark, does TKNY really think that my reoriented loves are going to pass muster on judgment day? Or am I still going to need an alien righteousness?

    Thinking about the need for the latter might actually increase an awareness of dependence on God’s grace and favor. Not a bad way to grow in grace, and a whole lot less prone to self-congratulation or pious orgasm.

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  19. D.G.,
    Again, it is more about whether it is a sin. And nothing I have written has even suggested that such sin cannot be forgiven.

    But, as all 2kers should note that, whether racism can be forgiven belongs more to the context or the sphere of the preaching. Preaching in the public square against racism is more centered around arresting or limiting the behavior in public. Preaching in order to convert sinners into haing faith in Christ is where forgiveness can be offered and received.

    But again, I’ve suggested nothing in my earlier notes that rule out forgiveness so I am puzzled by your response.

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  20. On the day before the South Carolina primary, the spirituality of “the church” involves warnings against the evils of distribution according to need instead of according to works. Medicare in this age is evil and not for those who spiritual inner resources

    RP–“While the church does not meddle in civil government, it most certainly may speak against social evils. Christians and pastors can and should speak out on evils such as racism, government sponsored torture, or, in this case, socialism.”

    RP–There are biblical principles that seem to push back against capitalism – such as concern for the well-being of others – which really should be addressed to how people USE the system RATHER THAN THE SYSTEM ITSELF. To be sure, capitalism itself provides no tonic for the disease of sin. Moreover, Christians should be discerning enough to scorn the adolescent egotism of Ayn Rand-style capitalism
    1.Socialism is a system based on stealing. The whole point of socialism is for the government to seize control of private property, mainly involving the proceeds of peoples’ work, in order to give it to others.

    Throughout the Bible it is assumed that individuals have responsibility and authority over the property in their possession. . While there is a legitimate basis for government taxation, the simple taking of one’s possessions in order to give them to others is not one of them. Socialism is evil because it inherently involves stealing.

    2. Socialism promises to give a blessed life for free. Why would I put myself through the ordeal of discipline, sacrifice, and sweat, much less risk-taking business endeavors, if I can have a wonderful life without working for it? On the basis of your own work you should provide for your needs and you should voluntary support the church and others in need.

    3. Under capitalism, the individual has discretion to dispose of his or her wealth, which in some cases involves vast resources. This may be done virtuously or sinfully depending on the character of the individual owner. Under capitalism, one’s money generally reflects the market’s value on his or her work contributions. The prospect of socialism is chilling. There is a reason why some Americans want to erect a wall to keep illegal immigrants out, whereas socialist countries have built their walls to keep people in. Socialism is a nightmare to those who actually experience it, whereas capitalism is deemed a paradise Socialism is a manifestly evil system from which we should pray to be delivered.

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2016/02/socialism-is-evil.php

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  21. Curt, yep, you have. When I asked about a social gospel that would yield forgiveness for social sins, you punted.

    So where’s the social redemption for institutional sins? How can America find forgiveness?

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  22. Hebrews 2: For He has not subjected to angels the world to come that we are talking about…. You made him lower than the angels for a short time; You crowned him with glory and honor and subjected everything under his feet. For in subjecting everything to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. As it is, we do not yet see everything subjected to him. But we do see Jesus

    Colossians 2:15 God disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; God triumphed over them by Christ.

    I Corinthians 15: 24 Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death. 27 For God has put everything under His feet

    If the powers are not (yet) redeemed, what about institutional “mother kirk” which holds the authority of “the means of grace”?

    David VanDrunen– “On the one hand, the two-kingdoms doctrine is often taken as a distinctively Lutheran idea. On the other hand, the dominant paradigm in many Reformed circles in recent years has been various versions of a transformationist vision, which tends to emphasize the universal extension of the kingdom of God in conjunction with God’s present redeeming of all things in Christ.

    DVD–As redeemer, through his Son as the incarnate God-Man, God rules the other kingdom, sometimes referred to as the spiritual kingdom. This spiritual kingdom has broken into history and is now expressed institutionally in the church. From this distinction between two kingdoms by which God rules the world, Reformed orthodox theology derived a series of distinctions between political and ecclesiastical authority.

    DVD–One way in which this historic Reformed two-kingdoms doctrine differed from traditional Lutheran formulations lies in the application of the law-gospel distinction. Lutherans have often associated the kingdom of God’s left hand with the law (that is, what God commands) and associated the kingdom of God’s right hand (generally analogous to the Reformed conception of the spiritual kingdom) with the gospel (that is, what God promises). To many Lutherans this meant that areas of the church’s life that bore the character of law—such as ecclesiastical discipline—belonged to the kingdom of the left hand, and thus in many Lutheran lands the civil government took oversight of them.

    DVD– In distinction, the Reformed typically saw ecclesiastical government as a vital aspect of the identity of the church, the present institutional manifestation of the spiritual kingdom. The church was to take full responsibility for its discipline and not cede jurisdiction to the state. For the Reformed the church as the spiritual kingdom of Christ was characterized by both law and gospel (though by the law primarily in its “third use,” that is, as a fitting response to the gospel).

    http://themelios.thegospelcoalition.org/article/bearing-sword-in-the-state-turning-cheek-in-the-church-a-reformed-two-kingd

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  23. D.G.,
    Following the notes, it seems that you had really convicted of those chareges before there was a 4th down, before I was called to punt.

    And the, when I plainly explained that the message of forgiveness depends on the context of what is said, you contihnued with your premature judgment. And since it depends on the context, I didn’t exclude the availability of the forgiveness of sins. But I guess making the message of forgiveness contingent on the context while using a 2K approach to context was not enough for you to count what I said a s complete denial of the availability of forgiveness.

    So all of this is on you and your rush to judgment.

    So this is on you and you know it. Remember, below is what you wrote without waiting to see if I would punt.


    Curt, if racial preference is sin, can it ever be forgiven?

    Or does it demand purgatory?

    You think my questions are revealing. Your concerns do the same. I see no gospel in your view of race relations.

    So I apologize for ever calling you a social gospeler. You are in the social circumcision party.

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  24. D.G.,
    Are you denying that there are at least 2 different spheres here and that we have the public square and we have one for our personal standing with God? And are you denying that the standard for being righteous in the public square is different from being a member in good standing in the Church?

    And are you forgetting that we are called out from participating in group sins and that is where we can receieve forgiveness for participating in group sins? That is what I have said from the beginning.

    And with your scheme of things, are you saying that one nation can do anything it wants to another and it isn’t sin? Are you saying that one economic class can doing anything it wants to another and it isn’t sin?

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  25. “Persons act. Natures are.”

    Persons act. Classes are.

    Classes can’t DO anything.

    Find something useful to DO, Leo.

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  26. Curt, I’m not saying that nor is anyone except you. We have laws that put limits on persons and businesses all over the place. Following those laws doesn’t make anyone righteous.

    Except for you. You construe free markets as an economic class “doing anything” and you are the one who talks of public righteousness.

    Sheesh.

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  27. What does capitalism have to do with meritocracy? Does the word “election” sound to you like God flipping a coin to decide the winners and the losers? The “spirituality of the church” means that black preachers should not talk about politics but aristocratic pastors nostalgic for the old status quo can explain how one kingdom is not like the other kingdom, and you can decide which one to live in depending on the situation. One kingdom is private…property.

    For when it comes to property, like God you are entitled to do what you want with what belongs to you, because you or your family worked for it.

    In one kingdom, Booker T Washington—“Nothing ever comes to one worth happening except as a result of hard work”. Rick P—“Under capitalism, one’s money generally reflects the market’s value on his or her work contributions. The prospect of socialism is chilling. There is a reason why some Americans want to erect a wall to keep illegal immigrants out.”

    In the other kingdom, I Cor 4—” In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful. 3 It is of little importance to me that I should be evaluated by you or by any human court. In fact, I don’t even evaluate myself. 4 For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord. 5 Therefore don’t judge anything prematurely, before the Lord comes, who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God.
    6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the saying: “Nothing beyond what is written.” The purpose is that none of you will be inflated with pride in favor of one person over another. 7 For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn’t received it? 8 You are already full! You are already rich! You have begun to reign as kings

    For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.

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  28. D.G.,
    But you have never shown your implication that nattional forgiveness is necessary for there to be national sin. Of course, there are no scriptural verse that point that way. And we have national sins existing in the OT among both covenant and noncovenant nations. But despite that, you use your combination of logic and whatever theology you believe to conclude that there is no national sin. Your deductive approach is typically reformed. So this has become a theological-logical wrestling match for you.

    But what if we take an inductive approach, we could ask this: Did Germany sin when it invaded Poland and tried to ethnically cleanse Poland’s Jewish people from the land? If we take your approach, the answer must be no. But if Germany didn’t sin when it invaded Poland, then what it did in Poland was not wrong. So answer that question.

    And while you’re at it, when you answer back on myh comments, respond to all of the statements. For example, I talked about forgiveness for participating in group, in this case national, sin. I wrote:


    And are you forgetting that we are called out from participating in group sins and that is where we can receieve forgiveness for participating in group sins? That is what I have said from the beginning.

    I also asked:


    Are you denying that there are at least 2 different spheres here and that we have the public square and we have one for our personal standing with God? And are you denying that the standard for being righteous in the public square is different from being a member in good standing in the Church?

    So you can answer those questions to prove your case or you can play one note samba as if I wrote nothing in response. That might feel comfrotable for you, but in refusing to answer questions, you fail prove your point.

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  29. Curt, right. National sin, but no national forgiveness. Why racism can’t be forgiven.

    What Germany did was break the law. Is it sin drive over the speed limit? If you want to live that way, go ahead. I have enough trouble trying to obey God’s revealed law.

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  30. D.G.,
    And what law did Germany break by invading Poland?

    As for national forgiveness and forgiveness for racism, didn’t I write the following:


    Again, it is more about whether it is a sin. And nothing I have written has even suggested that such sin cannot be forgiven.

    But, as all 2kers should note that, whether racism can be forgiven belongs more to the context or the sphere of the preaching. Preaching in the public square against racism is more centered around arresting or limiting the behavior in public. Preaching in order to convert sinners into haing faith in Christ is where forgiveness can be offered and received.

    But again, I’ve suggested nothing in my earlier notes that rule out forgiveness so I am puzzled by your response.

    and regarding forgiveness for national sins:


    And are you forgetting that we are called out from participating in group sins and that is where we can receieve forgiveness for participating in group sins? That is what I have said from the beginning.

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  31. Curt, the test remains and you continue to never meet it: Make a way for a nation able to repent and become a baptized and communicant member of a local church and then you can have the category of national sin. Until then, it’s just loaded rhetoric.

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  32. Zrim,
    you are begging the question regarding the necessity of nations need to be baptized. The question is whether the test you so rely on is biblical.

    In addition, the OT prophets not only charged covenant nations with national sins, they charged noncovenant nations as well.

    Finally, did Germany sin when it invaded Poland and ethnically cleansed Jews from the land?

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  33. Leviticus 18: Do not defile yourselves in any of these things for in all these things the nations are defiled which I cast them out from before you, I visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land shall vomit out her inhabitants. You therefore shall keep My statutes and My ordinances, and shall not do any of these abominations … (for all these abominations have the men of the land done that were before you, and the land is defiled), lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, even as it vomits out the nation which was before you

    But that was back then, when infants were initiated into the Abrahamic covenant by circumcision. Now that circumcision has been fulfilled by the water sacrament of the holy catholic church, God does not judge nations by law revealed in a covenant but by natural common sense.

    http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/pe079.htm

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  34. The sacrament does not give you a right to vote for those who will be exempt from the Sermon on the Mount, but the sacrament is where you don’t need imputation theory but get to keep your forgiveness (f you have been healed in the confessional)

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2016/02/eucharist-and-atonement

    John Calvin—“The integrity of the sacrament lies here, that the flesh and blood of Christ are not less truly given to the unworthy than to the elect believers of God; and yet it is true, that just as the rain falling on the hard rock runs away because it cannot penetrate, so the wicked by their hardness repel the grace of God, and prevent it from reaching them…There are some who define the eating of the flesh of Christ, and the drinking of his blood, to be, in one word, nothing more than believing in Christ himself. But Christ seems to me to have intended to teach something more sublime in that noble discourse, in which he recommends the eating of his flesh—viz. that we are quickened by the true partaking of him, which he designated by the terms eating and drinking, lest any one should suppose that the life which we obtain from him is obtained by simple knowledge.”

    Calvin—“For as it is not the sight but the eating of bread that gives nourishment to the body, so the soul must partake of Christ truly and thoroughly, that by his energy it may grow up into spiritual life. According to them, to eat is merely to believe; while I maintain that the flesh of Christ is eaten by believing, because it is made ours by faith, and that that eating is the effect and fruit of faith.
    According to them, eating is faith, whereas it rather seems to me to be a consequence of faith. The difference is little in words, but not little in reality.”

    Calvin–“Although the apostle teaches that Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, no one will interpret that dwelling to be faith All see that it explains the admirable effect of faith, because to faith it is owing that believers have Christ dwelling in them. In this way, the Lord was pleased, by calling himself the bread of life, not only to teach that our salvation is treasured up in faith in his death and resurrection, but also, by virtue of true communication with him, his life passes into us and becomes ours.” Institutes 4:17:5

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