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Friday, July 22, 2011

Put Your Money And Life Where Your Ballot Is

Focus on the Family.  This organization has been a staple for the American evangelical family for decades.  James Dobson books and other Focus on the Family publications fill many evangelical bookshelves.  I am among the fallout of this religious political machine, and I know I am not alone.  To be quite honest, I tend to shy away from things endorsed by Focus on the Family unless I have another reason, more credible recommendations, to indulge it.  As I was browsing news articles a few days ago I came across something that caught my attention, an article with this in the description "Franken Destroys Focus On The Family Witness".  Guilty pleasure as it was, I watched the linked video on youtube because I always enjoy seeing Focus on the Family look like fools.  Tom Minnery cited a study as saying that children from homes with a mother and father had a better life than those without.  Al Franken used to the same report and read it aloud demonstrating that the report said children in a nuclear family had the better life.  The report defined a nuclear family as “one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents of all the children in the family”.  Franken concluded the report said nothing about same sex opposite sex marriages, and dismissed Minnery's testimony by his lack of ability to read a report properly.  Minnery responded in typical fashion arguing that silence assumed exclusion of same sex unions, however the author of the report told POLITICO that Franken's reading was correct and the study did not exclude same sex couples.

This got me thinking about the topic of gay marriage and same sex adoption.  These are topics that inflame many conservative evangelicals into a political frenzy.  This is a large reason I want to push evangelicals away as far as I can, this crazy idea about political sanctification.  While I agree with evangelicals on the moral aspect of homosexuality being opposed to the Christian life, I must get as far away from them as I can on their assertion that must translate to society.  Mostly because I reject the idea that we are to redeem our culture, and that this nation was a Christian nation, but also because of my view of two kingdom theology.  We as believers live in two kingdoms.  We simultaneously live in the common kingdom where we share that culture with all non believers as equals and the redemptive kingdom where we dwell in the Kingdom of God, or the church.  We have obligations to both, but while we live in both, we do not confuse them.  We live as sojourners and exiles in a land not our home, but a land where we are to help prosper and coexist with.  We are to live as the Jews exiled in Babylon.  I'm not going to spend any more time on that, but for an introduction to two kingdom theology I recommend David VanDrunen's "Living In God's Two Kingdoms".

Two kingdom theology has helped me approach these political issues more easily and also reaffirmed my libertarian leanings.  I went back and forth on the issue of gay marriage and have finally settled on a view where a state sanctioned marriage should not be banned.  An affirmation of same sex marriage naturally leads to the question of same sex adoption.  This I struggled with a bit more, however a few things actually pushed me more to the affirmative side of that debate as well.  While I don't morally endorse either same sex marriage or same sex adoption, politically I will defend them both under the banner of liberty and the assumption that Christians are to be in the world and not of the world and neither are we to make the world bow to our moral obligations.  Here are some of the considerations for my stance on same sex adoption.

One of the main objections to same sex adoption I remember hearing was that the children will be raised under the mindset that homosexuality is normal.  This is a very understandable objection from the evangelical pragmatists but is narrow sighted as well.  There are a vast number of heterosexual couples who would affirm the normalcy of same sex unions.  Being in a "straight" family doesn't mean the parents endorse heterosexuality as the only normal lifestyle.  Shall we pass legislation protecting children from heterosexual families with sympathies for homosexuals?

Another related objection is one of worldviews.  Children are going to be indoctrinated with the "liberal" agenda and be bred to hate God and hate the church (conservative evangelicals).  Well, this happens in families that are militant atheists or secularists.  Apart from hating "God", what about other religions.  Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Mormons and other religions all have opposite sex marriages that will be teaching their children opposing worldviews.  Shall we pass legislation protecting children from any non Christian family?

What about the health of the relationship itself.  Surely there will be adverse effects on the children's development being in such an unnatural relationship.  And we know just how healthy the natural relationships between heterosexuals always are.  Married couples with kids who have been married two or three times where the children are all half or step siblings, totally healthy and functional.  Married couples where the parents are always fighting, or one or both are out partying and sleeping around with the kids with the babysitter.  Abusive relationships where one parent physically emotionally or sexually abuses the other parent and/or the children.  Taking it beyond the definition of a "nuclear family", what about single mothers who got pregnant and don't know who the father is or single fathers raising children because the mother left for whatever reason.  What about single parents families where the other parent died.  Are these situations somehow more healthy than a loving committed and nurturing homosexual couple (yes, they do exist)?

I will agree that because of my theology and views of marriage and the family, this situation is not normal, and not ideal.  That being said, I cannot stand by and look at the need for adoption and say that these children would not be better off in a home i have moral objections with as opposed to getting passed around the foster care system.  It is healthier to have stability than to have instability.  This is just basic human nature.  I contend that being raised by a sinful homosexual family is no different than a sinful heterosexual family, and every single Christian family is a sinful family whether you like it or not.  If we believe the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, then we believe that God is powerful enough to bring us to himself from the worst non-Christian and the worst Christian families.

Let me put it bluntly.  If evangelicals are so concerned about the gays screwing up children because of adoption, then those evangelicals better actually start to adopt kids.  Put your money and your life where your ballot is or else shut up.


  1. I agree with you that post millennialism and theonomy are heresies that seek to put all the emphasis on the here and now. I would also disagree with the Arminianism of Focus on the Family, etc. I also agree with the two kingdoms theology. However, I disagree that that we are to withdraw from the world into a fortress mentality. As a citizen I can and do stand against immorality in the public realm and in the legislation of laws. As Calvin said, nations are still under God's moral law in the sense of general equity. I'm not a militant since I do not believe society can be reformed politically. However, that is not the same thing as saying all opposition to evil in the realm of government is a waste of time or morally wrong.

    God is sovereign. He can and does reform nations at times. Nineveh is a good example of that in the book of Jonah. We are called to be prophets, priests, and kings. That would entail speaking the truth publicly. Who knows who will repent when the truth is preached from pulpits?

    Abortion, homosexuality, and evil should be opposed by Christians wherever it occurs. That is not to say that we lose sight of the fact that the kingdom of God is not of this world. Our focus should be on eternity and the salvation of souls, not the reforming of societies in the here and now. Yet there is emphasis in Scripture on loving our neighbor in the 2nd Table of the Decalogue. That would and does include an emphasis on here and now. The moral law commands the believer to be involved, not to withdraw into lala land.

    The difference, however, is the believer is focused on eternity as the motivation, not the institution of christendom on earth or an earthly kingdom.



  2. "This is just basic human nature. I contend that being raised by a sinful homosexual family is no different than a sinful heterosexual family, and every single Christian family is a sinful family whether you like it or not. If we believe the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, then we believe that God is powerful enough to bring us to himself from the worst non-Christian and the worst Christian families."

    I agree. My family is non-Christian. But on the other hand let's not forget that the covenant of grace is promised to believers AND to their children: Acts 2:38-39. Also, those who are raised in non-Christian homes--whether hetersexual or homosexual--are under a curse unto the 3rd and 4th generation: Exodus 20:5

    And the promises are extended to a thousand generations of those who love God: Exodus 20:6

    God can and does elect some from outside the visible covenant or external covenant. God can and does reprobate children of believers who truly belong to the covenant of grace. But the norm is that children of believers have a promise to the thousandth generation and they have an advantage of being baptized into the visible church and being taught the Scriptures and the catechisms. The children of unbelievers have to receive those things from other witnesses.

    The primary means of church growth is not evangelism but by nurture of Christian parents. Evangelism is no less important but always we should remember that only the elect respond to either discipleship in the visible church or to evangelism in the world at large.

    May the peace of God be with you!


  3. In effect you're arguing above that immorality should be supported in the public realm because everyone is a sinner? That is a non sequitur.

  4. The article to which you linked says: "The study’s definition of nuclear family is: “one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents of all the children in the family.”

    That means the study does not provide evidence that straight couples’ children necessarily fare better than same-sex couples’ kids, as Minnery claimed."

    So given that homosexual marriage is illegal in the majority of the 50 states it follows that the report must not be accurately portraying the term "nuclear family" since the majority of nuclear families are heterosexual. It would also mean that the report is a propaganda organ rather than a truly scientific sociological study. Science is not "pure". Scientists, like everyone else, are biased and have darkened reasoning. Romans 1:18-21. It seems to me that you're way to willing to criticize the Arminians more than the other reprobates of the world. Science is no more redeemed than Arminianism. Both promote evil in underhanded and biased ways.

  5. Charlie,

    First of all, thanks for taking the time to read the blog, and also leaving some feedback. Comments are a great motivator to carve out time to keep writing (something I have failed to do the past few months) so thanks for that.

    In regard to the substance of your comments. First, I do not believe that speaking truth publicly is the same as rallying behind public legislation. For instance, I do not believe it is contradictory to not advocate a ban of same sex marriage as sanctioned by the state, yet also speak out against it is an immoral activity that is not compatible with Christianity. I believe 2 Kingdoms separation of church and state allows for that type of distinction. I draw the parallel to Mormonism and Islam. I believe that those faiths are immoral and idolatrous, and i would be fine with a church making a moral claim against them, but also with those people not voting to outlaw the religions themselves in the public sphere. I think two kingdom theology is liberating in its similarities to libertarianism's (and liberalism's) divide of public/private life. The public should be as tolerating as can be, and the private can be discriminating. (Part of the reason I divide between marriage ceremonies. Do what you will at city hall or the courthouse, but any God fearing church should say absolutely no to such a union).

    Also, I generally agree with your 2nd comment.

    To your third comment, I'm not arguing to celebrate and legalize immorality. I'm arguing that the church should be concerned with churchly things and operating under the assumption that freedom is ideal for a nation. I'll admit I'm biased coming from a libertarian stand point, but I do not believe that the government should restrict consenting adults. The issue of adoption is perhaps a better issue to get into since there is a child being considered, but I currently stand on the position that loving gay couples are better than abusive heterosexual couples for the raising of the child. I believe that is common sense. However as I said in my post "I will agree that because of my theology and views of marriage and the family, this situation is not normal, and not ideal."

    In regard to your last post, of course everyone has their bias. The terms of the study are what is important. The study did not to my understanding claim to be all encompassing, but it did define the terms by which it operated under. The point to bringing up the study was simple. FotF ignored the terms of the study, and imposed their own prejudice on the study and their conclusions were wrong in doing so.

    Thanks for the dialogue. Hopefully I will get this blog back up and running soon (have a few ideas in the works...) Drop by any time.

    For His Namesake,


  6. The two kingdoms theology does not mean that individual Christians should not vote their conscience, though. That means any Christian who votes for immorality is supporting immorality. Basically, the Bible says we are to obey even ungodly and pagan governments (Romans 13). That is different from saying that the two kingdoms theology means we ought to support child porn, pornography, abortion, gay marriage, prostitution, etc., et. al. as a "legal right". This is why I'm not a libertarian. Libertarians are inconsistent in their worldview as your blog clearly shows. As Jesus put it, you are either for Him or against Him. You can't have it both ways. We ought to be consistent in all areas, public and private. Someone's morality is going to be the law of the land. Basically, you're saying that the atheists and the godless should have the right to shut up the Christian witness.

    That is not to say that there should not be freedom of religion, etc. However, it should be pointed out that freedom of religion has limits. The founding fathers never intended to support godless socialism or pornography or prostitution. Nor did they intend for every religion under the sun to have free reign. They would have frowned on Islam, Buddhism, Wicca, witch craft and atheism.

    Withdrawing from the public debate is not an option. To argue one position in church and another in public is to serve God and satan.

    My politics are Tea Party Republican and moderate Republican. I do not and never will support gay rights. Gays have a right to do what they want as individual citizens. However to make it public policy to reward perversion with tax payer funded benefits and other such incentives to the reprobate is just plain unbiblical and unchristian.

    I'm most certainly not a theonomist or a reconstructionist. However, someone's morality is going to be the law of the land. I fail to see why the devil should have the right to endorse public laws that are plainly immoral. Just as murder is illegal so public laws institutionalizing perversions like homosexuality should be illegal.


  7. I'm sorry Charlie, but I believe the inconsistency lies with you. "That means any Christian who votes for immorality is supporting immorality...That is not to say that there should not be freedom of religion". I fail to see how the first commandment is flexible in public policy if the seventh is not (of which homosexuality is definitely a violation of). It is inconsistent to say that the second table of the Decalogue it is our responsibility to vote into law, but not the first table violations.

    It also seems like a blaring contradiction to be ok with other religions so long as they're not X Y or Z. It seems like a nightmare of contradiction to try and make that list of which are ok and which are not and then try and rationalize why some are more immoral than the other, or why some immorality we should be ok with...or whatever you justification is.

    I'm gonna leave the "Godless socialism" thing alone, because Capitalism is a liberal idea, and classical liberalism is personal freedom, free markets, property rights etc. There is a reason that Libertarianism is called neo-classical liberalism, but I know, being raised in the religious right, that liberals and socialists are the same and they're both evil.

    Love to hear your thoughts, perhaps I am misunderstanding you. Thanks again for the dialogue. As iron sharpens iron. :)


  8. John, you're right. Libertarianism and liberalism in theological matters are the same. I'm not inconsistent. I would love to outlaw false religions in a Christian nation. But utopia will not exist on earth.

    You, on the other hand, endorse out and out evil. It's one thing to live in a civil society that follows God's moral law according to general equity. It is quite another to make a false theonomy of the left that says it is immoral to pass laws against immorality.

    I know. You're a social liberal from California so you think conservative theology is evil. You can't help endorsing evil because that's all you know. It's rather like the social liberals in the Northeast.

    Sadly you are in league with those who would undermine civil society even more than it has been eroded already.

    Here in the south we're not afraid to think for ourselves. The war of Northern Aggression was lost but our spirit has never been broken.

    Additionally, your argument neglects the fact that the decalogue is a general summary of the moral law. You're quite correct that all ten commandments are still valid today in regards to the 2nd use of the moral law: civility in society.

  9. Article VII
    Of the Old Testament

    The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore they are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.

    Nations are not except from passing laws in harmony with God's moral law as far as that applies "in the general equity thereof". WCF. That does not mean that I'm a theonomist or a reconstructionist since I don't conflate and confuse the judicial laws of OT Israel with the moral law summarized in the Decalogue....

  10. I'm going to have to ask you to not presume you know me. The more you talk, the more you show you do not. I think conservative theology is evil? Why, oh why, do I seem to feel most at home among OPC and URC types. I forget, they're liberal denominations. That must be why I am sickened by the egalitarianism and evolution and Federal Vision in the PCA, which I am currently a part of.

    Not being able to think for it. That's must be why I adhere to biblical gender roles and support Complementarian theology, because I'm a liberal Californian. My ability to not think for myself must also be why I was raised non denominational from two Wesleyan Arminian parents with a very religious right mother, and I got took it upon myself to study theology. If you are going to insult me and brush me off then I'll let you get back to your plantation on the "good"(white) part of town. *sarcasm*

    It's one thing to discuss theology, it's another to just spout off about the other person whom you have never met. If you're going to continue this, then I'm done.

  11. Freedom has limits. I suppose by your reasoning Christians should have allowed Hitler the "freedom" from the church to do whatever he wanted with the Jews? Opposing evil is evil? Please:)

  12. Although the Civil Magistrate in modern countries is not technically in the category of a "Christian nation" as in the Reformation era, the principle is the same. Those active in our government have an obligation to govern under the moral commands of God in Scripture.

    . . . Where we attribute to the Queen's Majesty the chief government, by which titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended, we give not to our princes the ministering either of God's word or of sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen doth most plainly testify: but only that prerogative which we see to have been given always to all godly princes in Holy Scriptures by God himself, that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil-doers. . . .

    Article XXXVII

  13. John, don't cry. You went there first when you attacked my southern heritage.

    The fact is the OPC is as bad or worse than the PCA. They have as many problems with the Federal Vision as the PCA does. It all started with the irrationalism of Van Vil's theology at Westminster PA. The OPC specializes in paradox and an Evangelical form of neo-orthodoxy sponsored by Westminster PA via the theology of Van Til and his legacy.

    Common grace is a semi-Arminian doctrine. It's certainly not Reformed. And to the degree that neo-Calvinists compromise with Van Til's denial of propositional truth and sovereign grace they also depart from the Reformed faith.

    I would suggest that part of the reason you're so willing to endorse outright immorality being the judicial law of the United States is your adherence to common grace and Van Til's irrationalism.

    I have never knowingly voted for any candidate who was pro-abortion or pro-gay rights and I never will. Furthermore, I do not believe the two kingdoms theology forbids me to speak my mind on political issues. I do not confuse politics with theology. But neither do I confuse common grace with total depravity.


  14. I didn't know I was crying, I thought I was at work. The reason I am not willing to ban (not the same as a willingness to advocate) same sex marriage is simply that I believe that any marriage outside the bounds of the church and between a man and a woman and God is not a Christian marriage. If we want to allow atheists and hindus or any other non Christian faith to marry in a legal sense, then it is not a matter for the church. I do not see the difference between saying there can be flexibility in the first table of law with consenting parties, but not on other issues between consenting parties. Of course murder and theft and rape are to be prohibited by law because a person is violated by another but the only consistent stand I see for homosexuality is to either make it illegal entirely or treat it as a non issue. Its inconsistent to say that you want to legislate their freedom because of immorality, but you're fine with them being immoral behind closed doors. Immorality either influences public legislation or it does not. I have my reservations with Westminster PA, that is for sure. In part because, from my understanding thus far, Van Til and Murray mixed together is a ripe breeding ground for theonomists. Lord willing I hope to go to Westminster Escondido in the furture. And yes, I understand that with the majority of them they'd probably argue against me on this instance. I welcome more insight and food for thought on the issue of marriage. However, that does not mean that I welcome a perfect stranger demeaning in place of reasoning with me.

    In regard to the point of affirming the liberalism of libertarianism, the point was simple. The free market and private property and individual rights are politically liberal ideas. Yet the conservatives in this country fight the very cause of liberalism. It's a bit inconsistent.

    Of course I have a lot to learn, and opinions may change, but they won't change by people who automatically assume that they know my theology and my person, as you so directly insisted that you did. You, brother (or perhaps you consider me a non-believer) drew first blood on the insults.

    And I'll agree freedom has it's limits, and of course the Decalogue is the summation of the entire moral law. I don't believe I ever denied that. And if you can't see the difference between genocide and consenting adults (ie your suggestion that I would support Hitler), then you're crazy. If you want to be consistent, fight to ban any false religion, fight to regulate the Sabbath, fight to oppose the greed of large corporations. That would be the most consistent way to legislate morality if your standard for political law is the moral law.


  15. Also, per the OPC cover up article, I will give that a read. I know the OPC dealt with the Norman Shepherd issue, but to the best of my knowledge they have snuffed out any FV when they find them in their ranks. I'll try and read that article when I get back from my second job tonight. Thanks.

  16. The idea that freedom is a legal right flies in the face of the fact that all mankind is fallen in Adam. Freedom used for the purpose of license undermines society as a whole and leads to what is unnatural, perverse, and wicked. For a Christian to say that society is out of bounds for reformation is about as logical as saying we should not evangelize society. The two go hand in hand.

    Your argument that marriage without Christ is sinful is taken. However, your argument just as likely leads to rampant promiscuity, teen pregnancy, poverty, and other curses from God due to the fall. As if the curse is somehow "good"? God does not give grace to the reprobate. Rather He gives them a strong delusion so that they do what should not be done. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

  17. I believe we are called to evangelize and speak truth in society. I'm not convinced that we are to fight to create a Christian state though. I believe the Christian will always be the moral exile for speaking moral truth, but I'm not convinced that entails we go about trying to regulate sinful behavior and perversity of all kinds by law.

    I would be fine with Christians wanting to separate legal and biblical marriage. I just don't understand how trying to have both is like having your cake and eating it too.

    This is why libertarianism makes the most sense to me (and perhaps I am wrong. I am but a man with a limited intellect after all). I believe that the church should not be in the business of mingling with politics. I believe that abortion is immoral but believe it should be illegal for the same reason why murder is wrong. It violates someone unwillingly. Do I believe shooting up drunkenness is moral? No, but I wouldnt put a prohibition on being wasted. Now operating a vehicle and endangering others should be illegal.

  18. I don't believe in over regulating "vices" either for that matter. But that does not mean that I think pornography, prostitution and drug use should be legal. Marijuana is a different issue since it is really no worse than alchohol. However, to institutionalize a perversion of nature such as homosexuality goes without saying. Christians have always opposed such nonsense--which is why after Constantine became a Christian such immorality was discouraged rather than encouraged.

    To raise children in unChristian environments makes it more difficult to evangelize, albeit only the elect will be saved anyway. In a society where the there is at least some familiarity with the Bible and morality there is at least a greater openness to conversion. To deliberately undermine the Christian worldview in the name of "liberty" is not the Reformed view. Calvin would have been appalled and so would the other Protestant Reformers.

    Do you want to live in a high crime neighborhood or in one that has at least some Christian values and morality? It's simply common sense that we would want a moral society even if we don't want to legislate one's religious affiliation. The current trend is to make atheism the official religion of the US. Do you really want the US to look like modern European countries where it is illegal to say homosexuality is a perversion and immoral?

    As I said, I'm not a theonomist. I'm not interested in legislating religious belief. But I am interested in preserving a general equity by making civil law line up with God's moral law in general terms. That's the assumption in the WCF and the other Reformed standards, including the Anglican Formularies (39 Articles of Religion, 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal). The traditional family values of an earlier time in our history are not wrong. They are desirable. As far as that goes, the 2nd use of the moral law calls for it.

  19. Notice that the WCF says that the moral law is "for others" as well:

    5. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof;1 and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God, the Creator, who gave it.2 Neither doth Christ, in the Gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.3


    1 Rom. 13:8,9; Eph. 6:2; 1 John 2:3,4,7,8.

    2 James 2:10,11.

    3 Matt. 5:17,18,19; James 2:8; Rom. 3:31.

    6. Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned;1 yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly;2 discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives;3 so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin;4 together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of His obedience.5
    WCF 19.5 and 19.6.

    The implication is clearly that civil society is best governed by laws that are in accord with God's moral law. That's the "confessional" view. If you disagree with it then you are out of accord with the Reformed standards on that point. 19.4 says that the "general equity" is required of nations as the basis for their judicial legislation:

    4. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require.1

    The Bible is clearly not libertarian and neither are the reformed standards. I disagree with over regulation by big government in private and business affairs. But that is not the same thing as endorsing anarchy in moral matters. Make no mistake about it. The liberals are out to undermine no only society but the church as well.


  20. General equity clause? Everyone ranging from theonomists to the natural law/2 kingdoms guys at Escondido use that clause for very different things.

    It's food for thought, but a practical question. I would absolutely agree that homosexuality is incompatible with the Christian life. However, which sin isn't? How do you uphold the general equity of the law and not legislate it? I find it hard to imagine that the reformers would have much in common with the founding of a religiously free society like America. That put aside, what is the guideline for which moral laws we should be trying to enforce in a societal setting? I don't understand which laws are worth legislating and which are not? Is not the general equity of the Sabbath and Idolatry just as important as the general equity of sexual sin?

  21. John, you're talking like a liberal again. Muddying the waters as if you don't know what the traditional moral values of previous generations were? The bottom line is that all nations are held accountable for leading astray the reprobate. I don't believe there will be a literal ushering in of Christ by theonomy or post millennialism. Things will get worse and worse. But that does not excuse us to stop speaking out against the political institutionalization of perversity and immorality. Prohibition was both unbiblical and unwise. However, institutionalizing homosexuality as the societal norm is both unbiblical and stupid. It spreads immorality and promotes it.

    Pornography has helped to undermine Christian values and the Christian worldview in society at large. What you don't get is that the antichristian forces are out to devastate freedom of religion in retaliation for their irrational blaming of Christianity for "hate" crimes. The latest example of that in the media is the new and updated version of "Foot Loose". Odd that dancing is outlawed and the enemy is fundamentalist rednecks. More stereotyping of Christians and other propaganda against Christianity.

    Oddly enough Mike Horton would agree with you, not me. He thinks we should let the Hitlers and Stalins rule the US along with the atheists, the pornographers, and the homosexuals. Stupid me. I think Christian churches have an obligation to speak the truth in ALL arenas of life, especially the Gospel. That does not mean we ought to sell out to the social gospel or the here and now. But the last I checked loving one's neighbor and preaching the Gospel would include speaking out against political agendas spreading lies, immorality, and antichristian propaganda. You, on the other hand, pat them on the back and say, "GREAT! We live in a 'free' society." Luther didn't call that "freedom". He called it, The Bondage of the Will. Read Revelation again some time. It speaks to Christians in the midst of persecution by the Roman Empire. Such times are coming again and you apparently side with the great whore of Babylon rather than standing firm consistently against immorality and evil no matter where it occurs.

    I'm an amillennialist. I don't believe we will succeed in challenging the evil powers ruling our nation. But that is different from lying down with them in the same bed.


  22. Everyone is bound by the moral law, including all the reprobate. Simply because they are unable to obey does not remove their responsibility and accountability for breaking God's law. It is written in their hearts and creation testifies against them in general revelation so that they are without excuse for doing so. (Romans 1:18-32). That would include nations and individuals. Even Paul says that even nature testifies against homosexuality (general revelation). Scripture is the final word, however, and Scripture condemns it. Just as Scripture condemns murder so it condemns homosexuality.

    By your reasoning if pedophilia becomes legal the church should not speak out against that either. God's law is not relativist. It's the same universally. Does one really need to ask which moral laws are applicable for society? Even murder is becoming legal with abortion and euthanasia. Some "Christians" think that's ok as well.

  23. Pedophilia? Really? You're smart enough to know Libertarianism by it's core principles protects the rights of individuals from being violated. There's a large difference between being consensual and violating a person. I don't know how to take your emphasis on bringing up abortion again. If you are suggesting that I am pro-choice, I am not.

    Of course all men are responsible to obey the moral law, and of course all men are held accountable before God for their failure to do so. I'm not, nor have I ever, contesting that.

    In regard to the comment on the stereotyping of Christians in Footloose specifically and the media at large, that's a weak point. There are entire denominations that forbade dancing because it "led to sex". Wesleyan Arminianism (between the Methodists and Nazarenes, and i believe at one point even the SBC?) held, or possibly still do hold, such a position. The world does not need Hollywood to turn the church into a laughing stock. The church does a great job of not practicing what they preach, adding arbitrary laws of conduct to believers, becoming a chameleon of cultural whims and in general trying to win people to Christ by becoming a cheap imitation of the world via entertainment showmanship (and a bad imitation at that). If Hollywood was silent on the ridiculousness that we find in our ranks we'd still have an abundance of things to ridicule us for. MMA in youth groups have already claimed a life. In regard to hate crimes, there are Christians who do practice hate crimes (and I'd like to believe it is a minority...I really hope). Not too long ago a gay couple was assaulted by the deacons of a church, at the encouragement of the pastor mind you. "Christians" have bombed abortion clinics. There is no love for ones enemy or ones neighbor or Christian charity in those things.

    I know traditional values gets used a lot. Often it has an aim to go back to the glory days of the 50s. You know, when there was rampant segregation and discrimination in the south? And women were frequently subdued and abused in their homes but everything was good on Sundays. My grandfather, the "good Christian" Nazarene he was, used to beat my mother and aunts and uncle with thorned vines that they had to cut off themselves. Not too long that they'd be hurt worse, but not too short or he'd make them go and cut another one. He used to beat my grandmother and drag her around by the hair and then of course when he wanted sex he'd woo her back into the bedroom and pretend everything was perfect. Then there were the neighborhood parties my mom told me about where a lot of the neighbors would get together at one of their houses and get drunk and sleep with whoever. These were of course all the good church goers, and from the public's eye they were upstanding moral people. But alas, there was prayer in school, abortions were only done in the alleyways, teen pregnancy was covered up by being sent away, the gays were at least covering it up by being married with their flings on the side in private and there was no internet for easy access pornography even if there were playboys being passed around schools. I suppose the traditional values that we're advocating here are the external moralities that a nation at least looks on the outside like a good Christian community? I'd be interested in a generation where depravity was not rampant, both inside and out of the church. I really would. People are depraved, and the only thing you can change is the external actions, to a degree.

  24. I take my resemblance to Michael Horton as a compliment, though you meant it otherwise. But I grow weary of the incessant misrepresentation of what exactly I'm trying to advocate. How many times are you going to insist that I want evil to rule the state, or that I or any other theologian who may hold a similar view wants Stalin or Hitler to rule the country. How many times are you going to insist that we do not believe the church should have a clear voice on what is moral and sinful? That is neither my contention, and surely not Michael Horton's. There is a difference between saying that a state should not be the enforcer the Decalogue, but the church should purify it's ranks and unashamedly pronounce sin as sin and wanting the church to be silent on issues of, or advocating, blatant persecution of any group, religious or not, advocated by the state. I'm all for making marriage purely religious, but that means that if Christians in this country want the benefits of a legal status, they recognize that a legal status of marriage, civil union, or whatever you want to call it is categorically different than a marriage before God. Where in scripture is marriage supposed to be a state sanctioned union anyway? But Christians often, at least in my experience, expect the legal privilege because "they're married".

    Anyway, I do not see this conversation making any progress further. You have given me things to think about and so for that I thank you. Feel free to comment on other blog entries if you are ever inclined to, but I do not want to see anymore misrepresentations of what I or any other people are actually advocating. I grow weary of the exaggeration at best or the blatant twisting of words at worst. Please do not put more words into my mouth, or anyone else's. I have tried to represent your view charitably and fairly and to offer my objections to your positions but not you personally, but I do not see the same as being done in return. If I have misrepresented you directly or said anything to slander you (it is 2.20 AM and I'm not feeling like reading the past 24 comments again) then I apologize as that was not my intent. I hope that you are more charitable and loving toward sinners in your neck of the woods that you have relationship with than you come across to brothers in Christ you have no relationship with on the other side of the country. Anyway, I am done with this. Feel free to say anything left unsaid and I will read it, but I will most likely not respond any further as this conversation does not seem to be progressing anywhere. I truly hope you continue to strive for the glory of Christ and the furtherance of the gospel in this dark world. Goodbye for now.

    For His Namesake,


  25. "There is a difference between saying that a state should not be the enforcer the Decalogue,"

    Oh? And you think the state does not enforce morality? The real question is whose morality will the state enforce? The morality of traditional values taught in the Christian worldview or the values of the homosexual, atheist and the godless socialist? Please. There is no such thing as a neutral state. The state is what its citizens make it. You apparently want gays to rule the world. At least that's what your article implies.

    While I agree that the primary mission of the church is evangelism and preaching the Gospel and discipling Christians, it is not the only mission of the church. The church is also to prepare Christians to confront the evils of the world head on with a prophetic voice. We are not to bow down to the idols of the state.

    That much is clear. That's precisely why Jesus was crucified. It's also why Daniel was thrown in the lions' den and the three young men were thrown into the fire.

    Any idea of two kingdoms which withdraws from confronting the world with its evil is not Scriptural but Christians compromising for the sake of a false peace with the world which is at war with God and His church.

  26. "blatant persecution of any group" ...

    Please:) I suppose the state should not persecute pedophiles either? Simply because the state says something is moral and good (i.e. homosexuality) does not make it so. Your irrationalism and self contradiction is so obvious. If the state were to be in line with God's moral law on homosexuality, apparently you would think God's moral law was actually immoral. Go figure. You're right. We're never going to agree. You cannot compartmentalize the moral law into merely the private sector and private religion. Right is right and wrong is wrong and you're clearly wrong on this one.

  27. You're advocating the endorsement of civil unions that include blatant immorality. How much more clear could you be? Did it ever occur to you that the pagan is obligated to follow the moral law?

    If that is so then the Christian could never say that the pagan is NOT obligated to follow God's law in regards to marriage. It is irrelevant whether the marriage is Christian or civil, the intended institution "in the beginning" is one man and one woman. I understand that you don't like that. You'd rather see the whole world accept homosexuality and go to hell.

  28. As for your remark about my being charitable toward sinners, you would be correct. When it comes to lies and deception, however, I call it like I see it. As far as I'm concerned you're a hypocrite who cannot decide what's right and what's wrong. The Bible is not relativistic. It's crystal clear that everyone is obligated to obey God's law. Whether or not they do so or have the ability to do so is irrelevant. I cannot make even one person obey God's word nor can I regenerate or elect even one soul. I can, however, speak the truth.

    The truth is homosexuals are lost and on their way to hell. Institutionalizing their error does nothing except harden them in their sins even more. Of course, it could be that God is using you as an instrument to insure that the reprobate bust hell wide open. Glory be to God either way.

  29. Your other post was so full of red herrings I won't bother to answer them. Apparently, however, you seem to think that the semi-pelagian Wesleyan holiness movement is theologically genuine Christianity. It is not. Arminianism is a heresy on the same order as Roman Catholicism. It would be Wesley's theology that teaches that sin is only a violation of a known law of God. Therefore if you sin in ignorance God will overlook it. Supposedly, anyway. And who could forget the Onida holiness community in New York? That's probably what your mother was referring to. The Arminians have forgotten that God decides what is sin and what is not sin. Any violation of God's moral law is a sin whether it is in ignorance or willingly done. Sins occur in thought, word and deed. Thus, your irrational self contradiction in supporting the homosexual as a "persecuted group" implies that homosexuals are somehow not culpable for their rebellion against God and are instead "a persecuted" minority. Hogwash!

    Sin is sin no matter how much politically correct propaganda brainwashes the multitudes to think otherwise.

  30. Wow, this guy is... a little crazy. And his blog is entitled "Reasonable Christian"! hehe, I got a kick out of that. Anyways, I am sad he's some kind of pastor; he's got the whole "clanging cymbal" thing down pat.

    Anyways, enough snarkiness. It's obvious that any attempt to distinguish right and wrong from legal and illegal with this guy is vanity. Same goes for the concept of justice with grace, or even John 3:17... I really have nothing more I'd say, either, except maybe just to say hey, I like Caedmon's Call, too, especially their style of speaking truth in a humble fashion. May we all emulate it better.

  31. I guess murder is not right or wrong but simply illegal or legal when dealing with the state. The state gets to decide what is legal or illegal apart from what is right or wrong. And churches should shut up and let the world go to hell in a hand basket. Sounds like liberalism to me:) Can you say "apostate"?

    Being amillennialist does not mean withdrawing from the world into a fundamentalist fortress like Horton would have us believe. We can speak the truth wherever it needs to be spoken knowing that the reprobate will not hear. Accepting two kingdoms theology does not mean a local church cannot speak out publicly to influence the state. Christian churches are called to preach both LAW and GOSPEL. In fact, it's not a church if it is not preaching both. The Law of God condemns nations as well as individuals. How you can support homosexuality in the state is beyond me. It's irrational at best.