CommonSense

Hello.... Hi there... I'm Cynthia Gee, and I'm creating this as a mirror of my other CommonSense blog at HomeschoolBlogger. I am copying the first several articles from over there, and moving them here in their entirety, complete with reader's comments. So if you see your comment HERE, and remember posting it over THERE, relax. You're sane.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Holy Bribes: "Render unto Caesar"?

Awhile back, I pointed out that Reconstrucionists consider lying to be permissible, even virtuous, if it advances the theonomist/dominionist cause.

But in addition to justifying lying based on "Rahab's lie", theonomists believe that treason is just fine and dandy if it is done in the name of dominionism (I won't dignify this idea by calling it, treason done in the name of God !)

Gary North says that Rahab committed treason against her government in God’s cause, and he maintains that this was a virtuous action because Rahab’s rulers were evil. This line of thinking has obvious parallels to the situation in America today.
If one believes that America is evil, and that the country should be brought under the dominion of more Godly stewards through some sort of great "restoration", and if one believes that that the government is being run largely by evil, fallen men, then even treason is excusable!

According to North, bribing government officials is also perfectly acceptable, if it advances the cause (though taking a bribe yourself wound still be considered still a sin).
North asks, “Would a pastor in an American pulpit ever preach on the legitimacy of a Christian’s offering a bribe to a state official under certain circumstances?” North then points out, “What the Bible condemns is the taking of bribes, since it is assumed that godly men will enforce God’s laws without payoffs. A bribe may not be accepted for one’s own personal profit, either for perverting justice or for administering justly. But the Bible nowhere condemns the giving of bribes in order to impede the progress of apostate governments.”

North offers this scenario of justification:“On the other hand, to the extent that any Christian’s position in any period of time should resemble the plight of the Christians under Roman rule, then he should take heed. Under the rule of a Hitler or a Stalin, the Christian’s proper response is outward subservience. He should bribe the dictator’s lieutenants, lie if necessary, join a Christian underground, and gain freedom of action through the lies and bribes to continue preaching and publishing.”North concludes:“We pay the bribe until the day that God’s adversaries lose power, but not one day longer.”

Hmmmm.....
Considering that a main tenet of reconstructionism is that adherents should seek jobs in government, with an eye to overthrowing the present government when such a thing becomes feasible, I guess that explains a thing or two going on in Washington nowadays, doesn't it?

31 Comments:

Blogger srl said...

CJ,
I am curious about examples of what you consider as "In the name of dominionism" as far as lying or any other activity goes. Actually, I haven't heard that term, dominionism, used by anyone who endorses what it supposedly stands for.

I think you are blurring the distinction between a virtuous action of disobedience because the people are evil, and a virtuous action because what you are being asked to do is evil. As to treason, would you agree with Peter and the apostles who said, "We ought to obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29? In fact, Peter talks very specifically about obedience to the hierarchy of authority, in 1 Pet 2:13-14 "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.". To say that Jesus Christ is Lord was treason in Peter's time, Similarly, to worship God was treason in Daniel's time under Nebuchadnezzar.

This line of thinking has obvious parallels to the situation in America today.
If one believes that America is evil, and that the country should be brought under the dominion of more Godly stewards through some sort of great "restoration", and if one believes that that the government is being run largely by evil, fallen men, then even treason is excusable!


Some questions:

1. Do you believe that the revealed will of God, as revealed in the inspired Scriptures, is authoritative? [ I know that you consider "theonomy" to be merely a cause, but it is literally theo + nomos — God-law — and I'm trying to level-set here. ]

2. Is it ever acceptable to do evil (i.e. sin, something contrary to the law of God) because the State asks you to?

3. Who is saying that any treason is excusable because the nation or person, (as distinguished from the action), is evil?

4. Who is saying or implying that advancing a cause ( as opposed to following the law of God ) is an acceptable justification for anything?

Considering that a main tenet of reconstructionism is that adherents should seek jobs in government, with an eye to overthrowing the present government when such a thing becomes feasible, I guess that explains a thing or two going on in Washington nowadays, doesn't it?

5. Who considers seeking jobs in government a main tenet of reconstructionism?

6. When you say 'overthrow the present government', do you mean by force, as in revolution? Who is advocating this?

I think you might need to make a distinction between revolution and reconstruction. The scenario you outline sounds more like a dialectic approach - jump in, throw out the government, etc. Everything I have heard, read, and seen in action, concerns: Out of gratitude and obedience to the only God and Father of our Lord Jesus, Who has redeemed and resurrected His people, doing the will of God as revealed in Scripture in all areas of life. That affects how you raise your family, how you live your life, how you vote, how you work in business, everything. The goal is not "bring the country under dominion of more Godly stewards" - the goal is 2Cor. 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and Jude 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. If one is in political power, one must be in obedience to Christ. If one is a student, or a CEO, or a baker, or mother, or a father, or any other calling, they must be in obedience to Christ. ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.

We need godly men to take leadership positions and lead - in homes, in businesses, in churches, and also in government. Maybe the latter is just more visible and thus it seems like a "main tenet". Maybe you are looking at the end result - that Christ is sitting and reigning, until all enemies ( includes all men, nations, false religion including apostate christianity so called ) are made His footstool - and saying, "Aha! That means violent overthrow!" When really what it means is, proclaiming the Gospel- spreading the seed, being faithful at the work God has called you to.. and His Spirit (and only His Spirit) is perfectly capable of overthrowing men's hearts in revolt against Him in conversion or else He will remove them in due time.

2:46 PM  
Blogger srl said...

CJ,
You really need to listen to a couple of podcasts I just came across. One is by RJR on what's wrong with our politicians and the other is Ortiz on Christian Misconstruction. These address some of the common misconceptions about CR. They're not very long, I think one is 5 minutes and the other 20.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Kathleen F. said...

srl,

That was a very thoughtful comment on reconstructionism. It was starting to sound like a bad word to me, but as I've been really thinking about what it means to have Christ rule in my heart as well as sharing the Gospel through my everyday life, it seems that it would naturally be the overflow of a heart rendered unto Him - that He would work out His Kingdom even through the lives of His elect, in whatever station He has placed them in life. Eph. 2:10 refers to the good works which God prepared for us "afore, that we should walk in them."

3:46 PM  
Blogger simplegifts3 said...

I'd like to know some specifics about what they consider to be "acceptable bribes."

10:42 AM  
Blogger simplegifts3 said...

CJ, hi! I don't know how to get a hold of you to ask, so forgive me for asking here, but is this James McDonald that I wrote about on my blog today (I wrote an entry about James and Stacey McDonald and "Homeschooling Today") the same James McDonald who commented on your blog? Just curious.

4:39 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Hi Simplegifts... Yes, he's the same one.

Sorry I haven't been around much,folks, but I've been away from my computer quite a bit lately-- my mother, who lives with us just had a masectomy last week and I haven't really had time to blog until yesterday.

11:14 AM  
Blogger srl said...

CJ-
I shall pray for your mother's recovery.

2:48 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

SRL, thank you. We may not see eye to eye, but one thing we can always do is pray for one another. God bless you.

12:51 PM  
Blogger celticpole said...

I am leary of anyone who takes one passage/story from Scripture and uses it to justify their belief/actions.
I really cannot understand this dominion theology. Jesus didn't call for the overthrow of the Roman government - which is what Israel was expecting the Messiah to do. He worked within the government and beyond the government. The dominionists that I've been reading about remind me of the Pharisees of Jesus' day. They just don't get the freedom/grace/mercy of Jesus Christ.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

I'd just like to say that the term Reconstructionist was invented by Pagans reconstructing ancient religions (Roman, Egyptian, Greek etc.)

It's ours, and these nutters can't have it. So there.

For what it's worth, the Christian worldview is that if an action is wrong, it's wrong in every context - so clearly bribery and corruption is wrong in every context.

Though if one was bribing a concentration camp guard to let some prisoners escape, I think that'd be fine.

2:45 PM  
Blogger srl said...

celtic- did you go ahead and listen to the podcasts I linked to? For some reason this notion of 'overthrow' keeps coming up, and I really think it is quite a bit of a misunderstanding. Chris Ortiz puts it as, (and I paraphrase) that folks hear that "Christ shall have dominion" and their minds leap immediately to overthrow, violent struggle, etc- because they are statists themselves. I [srl] think it is this dialectical materialist sort of attitude which looks in terms of struggle and revolution. Actually, did you read my comment here at all?

Do YOU think of violent overthrow when you read Eph. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. or 2Cor. 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; - does that sound like an armed revolt? Does it even sound like an election-day sweep or a political campaign? No. The only violence here is Christ's death blow to every wicked thing that exalts against Himself. So, why is this compared to "overthrow of the Roman government"? The point is that the power of God, and not you or I or anyone else will do the overthrowing, by removing or converting any opposition. Does that make any sense?

( cj, I would be curious about the original sources you are replying to in this post by the way. I couldn't find it. )

1:46 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

Hi SRL... sorry this took so long, but I'm finally getting around to answering your comments.

To answer your questions, let's start with the first one. I assume that when you asked whether I believe that "the revealed will of God, as revealed in the inspired Scriptures, is authoritative" you were asking whether I believe that
the will of God, as expressed in the Law of Moses, is still in effect today, so that's how I'll answer this one (and if I'm wrong in assuming that that's what you meant, please correct me -- you know what they say about that word, ass-ume...):
Actually we had quite a conversation about this over at Indelible Grace blogspot, and I recommend that you go over there and look at the archived posts dealing with that subject. "Metachoi" especially, provides some fine insights:
http://0rz.com/?5YWwP
http://0rz.com/?U9rsy

But to answer your question,
of course I believe that the word of God is authoritive, however, since Jesus came and died and rose again, we are in a new relationship with God, and the Mosaic Law is obsolete. Reconstructionists such as North and the late Rushdoony would like to reininstitute Mosaic Law as the basis for our civil government, and to do so is to effectively deny the work of Christ on the cross:
Gal 3:10 ¶ For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

This means that you can't say that while Jesus fufilled the Ceremonial Law, we are still obligated to keep the Civil Law. Either you must obey the WHOLE law, complete with animal sacrifices in Jerusalem, or you can obey none of it. If you decide to live by the Law, and fail to perfectly observe any point of it, you are guilty of disobeying the whole thing. God Himself drove the final nail into the coffin of the Old Testament Law when he allowed the Temple in Jerusalem to be destroyed in 70 AD, thus making it impossible for anyone to continue in obedience to the Law of Moses.

That's not a problem for us Christians though, because Jesus's death fufilled the Law and made it obsolete, "blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" ; and, to replace the Law of Moses, Jesus gave us a new and more comprehensive Law (it was an old law really, since it was God's original law from before the Fall), the Law of Love:
Jhn 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. Jhn 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Jesus also stated in Matthew,
Mat 22:37 "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment. Mat 22:39 And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Jesus is the final Sacrifice for our sins. Anybody who wants to resurrect the OT civil law denies Christ, because to keep any part of the Law of Moses you must keep the whole Law, and if you want to follow the Civil Law you must also keep the Ceremonial Law.
You'd better obey it perfectly, too, because as the writer of Hebrews says,
"if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins."

Any who would say that the Civil Law of the OT is still in effect, or who wish to base the civil law of their nation upon Jewish Law, thus denies Christ and scorns God's Providence, for God has replaced the Mosaic Law with something better:
"Behold, the days come," saith the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Hbr 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not," saith the Lord. Hbr 8:10 "For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days," saith the Lord; "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: Hbr 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. Hbr 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."


Hbr 8:13 " In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away."

2:00 PM  
Blogger perry2 said...

Your explanation is indicative of your misunderstanding of both the Scripture and Christian Reconstruction, as taught by Gary North and R J Rushdoony.

8:15 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Hey, be patient... :)
....so far I've only dealt with srl's first question, about whether "the revealed will of God, as revealed in the inspired Scriptures, is authoritative".
I'll get to Rushdoony and North in my next comment here, probably on Monday or Tuesday.

As for my explanation thus far, it is indicative of the fact that my understanding of Scripture is based in orthodox Christianity, which is naturally going to put me at odds with most of what is taught by North and Rushdoony.
More later....

9:52 PM  
Blogger srl said...

CJ, No problem on the elapsed time, thank you for responding. As far as time, thanks for the other links, I could not find 'Metachoi' anywhere, but I am afraid I have not yet had a chance to read through those 129 items. I should not like to be tedious to you ( as I saw you were also commenting there ), so I will comment on your comment, and please feel free (if you choose) to point me at specific replies, and/or copy and paste from there.

I was actually just starting with whether you believe that all of scripture is inspired and authoritative. Of course, what it says authoritatively must be discerned. As a bit of a silly example, one would not say that we ought to go around and, if hungry, "command this stone that it be made bread".

I think that by responding to whether the "Civil Law of the OT is still in effect" you are jumping to a specific area which is indeed covered by my questions, but which takes one topic, that of the civil government, unnecessarily out of its proper context as regards the whole commandments of God ( by which, again, I refer to the entirety of the OT and NT. )

Well, perhaps I am assuming here. What exactly do you mean by 'Civil Law' (repeated 5x here)? The distinction I am familiar with is that which is contained within, for example, the Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter XIX, that is, Moral law (the 10 commandments), Ceremonial law ("containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits"), and Judicial law (those specific to the former nation of Israel).

So, perhaps, by "Civil Law" you are referring to that which I term the Moral law, that is the 10 commandments? Or are you referring specifically to those commandments being used as the rule of law by civil government? Perhaps a mixture of the two? It seems that you see it as a primary goal of Rushdoony and others to "reininstitute Mosaic Law as the basis for our civil government". I think this is a misreading. You can even look at the quote on the vision statement of Chalcedon says: “No government in any form can make men Christians or truly obedient; this is the work of God's sovereign grace. Much less should civil government try to impose Biblical law on an unbelieving society. Biblical law cannot be imposed; it must be embraced.” Therefore, it is a non-goal to impose Biblical law on unbelievers. Have you had a chance to listen to the podcasts I mentioned?

Anyways, I said that I would like to step back (outward, if you will) from the topic of civil government, because I also do not believe it should be a major focus or a priority. But, I do not mean to dodge your comments on this topic. If I don't answer any such objections as regards the civil government, please feel free to remind me that I have overlooked something.

You said, of course I believe that the word of God is authoritive, however, since Jesus came and died and rose again, we are in a new relationship with God, and the Mosaic Law is obsolete.. I would like to show, from Scripture, that (1) all true believers after the Fall are in the same relationship with God as we are, because of Christ's resurrection, even if they in fact died prior to the event, and (2) that Christ died and rose again so that we would be empowered to be those who do obey God's law [though not perfectly], and (3) that what is in fact obsolete is not the law itself, but #1 the dividing line between Jew and Gentile, and #2 the ceremonial system and law, being fulfilled in Christ our great High Priest.

First, that all true believers past, present, future are in the same relationship with God. The saints of old knew the prophecies of salvation through Christ and eagerly awaited it.

See I Pet 1:10 and surrounding. 1Pet. 1:8 [Jesus Christ] Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 1Pet. 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 1Pet. 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 1Pet. 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1Pet. 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. They knew of this salvation, as something they looked forward to - and trusted in.

In fact, the very first promise of Christ was to Adam and Eve, way back in Gen. 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. In Galatians the importance of this Seed being singular is explained further: Gal. 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Gal. 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. Gal. 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. ... Gal. 3:16 Now to Abraham and hisr seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

I'm going to diverge from my outline, above, already, because Galatians deals with justification by grace vs. justification by law. You quoted verse 10 there, and let's add 11: Gal. 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

But then you said, This means that you can't say that while Jesus fufilled the Ceremonial Law, we are still obligated to keep the Civil Law.

We are not justified by our keeping of the law - we are justified by Christ [through His keeping, fulfilling of the law], but nowhere is it written that we are no longer under obligation to be obedient to it. In fact, it is assumed everywhere that the law is very much in effect. Consider for example, 1 Cor 9:1-14. Verse 9 and 10 say For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. Paul, writing after Christ was already raised, refers to Deuteronomy 25:4 as "the law". Is he telling the Corinthians that they are justified by unmuzzling their oxen, and moreover paying their pastors their wages? Certainly not. But he is reminding them of the law of God, which they are to be obedient to.

But back to what I was saying about the continuity of true believers, or, corporately, the continuity of the Church through both OT and NT. In John 8:56 Jesus says that Abraham rejoiced to see my day. Hebrews 11 recounts the heroes of the faith- speaking about OT times - and how, in verse 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. What was it that Moses preferred over the treasures of Egypt? In verse 26, it is the reproach of Christ. Moses, Abraham, and the others, were Christians - in the same relationship we are in. Sure, they didn't get to see Jesus' day or look backwards to see the promise already fulfilled (as we can now) - but they could say, with Job, of Christ: Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

So what of the Church as a body? Who did Christ give Himself for in Eph 5:25? It was not the Church, and Israel, or the Church + random OT people.. no, it was simply "the Church". There is one Body (Eph 4:4). Who are members of The Church? Well, even in OT times They are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Rom 9:6 but Rom. 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. This is mentioned also in Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all..

So there is really no new relationship. Christ died and rose to save those who are His- past, present, future from the time of Cross.

That's enough for now, I'm curious if you can clarify what you mean by "Civil Law". Next I would like to look at what Jesus saved us from and for - I believe it was that we were saved to now be obedient to Him. If the OT law is abolished, what is our standard for righteousness?

4:42 AM  
Blogger Lawrence said...

cj,
The 39 Articles state in Article VII.

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 recepts 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.

Tossing the whole of the law is not in the stream of historic Christian orthodoxy be it Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox or Reformed.

11:35 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Lawrence, I agree completely regarding the Ten Commandments.
By the term, Civil Law, I meant those judicial laws which were given by God through Moses to the nation of Israel, and not to the Gentiles.*

The Ten Commandments are still very much in effect for everyone, in that you cannot break them without breaking one or both of the two Great Commandments set forth by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40.
However, we now obey the Commandments out of love for God and love for our neighbor, in keeping with the New Covenant, and not as part of the Law of Moses. If we were to keep the all ten of the Commandments out of obedience to the Law of Moses, yet somehow fail keep one jot or tittle of the ENTIRE Mosaic Law (Galatians 3:10), complete with sacrifices at the temple in Jerusalem, it would be the same as if we did not keep the Commandments at all. Luckily for us,the Law of Moses is passed away, replaced by the simpler yet more comprehensive Law of Love from which it was derived.

*Even if the Law of Moses were were not passed away, we Gentile Christians are under no obligation to keep any of the Judicial or the Ceremonial portions of the Law(see Acts 15:20-29, and Acts 21:25.)

In Old Testament times, Gentiles were expected (with a few exceptions) to be in obedience only to the Noahic Law, and not the Law of Moses.

The Noahic Law, found in Genesis, 9:3-7, is much the same as the instructions to gentile Christians found in Acts 15 and 21, and it reads: Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. Gen 9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, [which is] the blood thereof, shall ye not eat..... Gen 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. Gen 9:7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

12:31 AM  
Blogger srl said...

CJ, did you ever listen to these?

9:51 AM  
Blogger srl said...

CJ,
So by Civil law, you are referring to the rest of the law, besides the 10 commandments and the ceremonial law? Who is it that is advocating that those, which are specific to Israel, be put into effect verbatim? The Westminster Confession of Faith, XIX.iv says: "To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging under any now, further than the general equity thereof may require." There's quite a bit to general equity, I already mentioned the example of muzzling the ox.

The 10 commandments were given through Moses, and where do you find in Scripture that the Law of Moses is 'passed away'? Where do you find any definition for this 'Law of Love'?

I agree with you that if one keeps the law, but breaks one part of it, they are condemned. But the solution to that is not a "lucky" replacement of the law, it is the fact that Christ kept the entire Law on our behalf and imputed His righteousness to us as believing in Him.

But I think you are again confusing the way of salvation, with the responsibilities of the civil government. There's no salvation in the government. We are not saved by our keeping of the law. But, the civil government must execute justice (1 Pet 2:14).

In Acts they are referring to the ceremonial law - that is, circumcision - as now being fulfilled in Christ Jesus. If you trust in that keeping of the ceremonial law then yes, I agree with you, that is denying Christ because He fulfilled that. And, the same goes if you trust in your keeping of any law - whether it be thou shalt not kill, or oxen, or whatever, the same applies. There is no mention of Judicial law here.

But Christ came that we might be freed from slavery to sin, and set free unto slavery to God - to serve Him. That was the reason that Israel was brought out of bondage, which is a type of redemption from sin: Lev 25:55 "For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God" and this was repeated in Luke 1:75-76 as the purpose of His coming: "That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. "

In Matthew 22:40 Jesus says: "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.". You said that the 10 commandments are in effect for everyone because you would be breaking one of these two. But Jesus said all of the law and the prophets. This shows us that obedience to God is bound up in obedience His entire Word, not just the 10 commandments.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Corrie said...

SRL,

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; "

This verse is not about earthly rule and dominion. It is about the spiritual realm. It is about taking captive our thoughts and imaginations. Obviously the casting down of every high thing is not referring to a physical entity since the whole passage is about the spiritual realm.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Corrie said...

Perry,

Could you be more specific? I mean, just to say something is so, doesn't make it so. What are some examples of things that CJ said that are indicative of a misunderstanding?

CJ,

You did a fantastic job in representing this issue.

6:28 PM  
Blogger srl said...

Corrie,
The physical, earthly realm is not evil or beneath the "spiritual world". Carnal in 2cor 10:4 refers to that produced by sin and fallen man. Look at the distinction in 1cor 2:4: Man's wisdom is contrasted with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Or, 1Cor 3:1 carnal people versus spiritual people. Paul isn't writing to disembodied spirits when he writes to those who are 'spiritual'. Louw and Nida defines these pneumatic people (πνευματικός) as "one who has received God’s Spirit and presumably lives in accordance with this relationship".

The warfare is spiritual - that is, Holy Spirit produced. The arena is not a battlefield… or the election booth… but it is thought. Thought about everything: thought about how you conduct your life. Thought about how you vote. Thought about how you wage war or don't. Thought about how you serve, if you are an elected official. Etc. I don't know why we're bringing up 'earthly rule and dominion' - I'm saying, Christ's rule and authority is unlimited in scope.

What puzzles me is CJ's bringing up 'overthrowing the present government'. I'm saying that Christ will continue to overthrow everything which opposes Him (isn't that what He is having us pray for in 'hallowed be Thy name' and 'thy will be done on earth..' ? ). How do you jump from that to assuming that that means that people are to be out there overthrowing earthly governments? I don't know of any 'reconstructionists' that CJ is referring to who advocate that, in fact it is quite the opposite.

2:02 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

SRL, Corrie, et al, hi there, I'm back, for a few minutes at least. SRL, no, I haven't looked at those links you sent me, I'm having trouble with the compoter in that regard, I think I need a new audio-card or whatever it is (I'm a book-geek, strictly low-tech :))

As for the links I sent you regarding an argument about the Law, take a look at them, they're great. I already explained briefly what I mean by the Civil Law, and why even though the Law of Moses no longer applies, the 10 Commandments still do, because of the Law of Love.

Regarding the same, you have made a number of statements which appear to be indicative of the nature of your difficulty in understanding the Law of Love, and why we are no longer under the Mosaic Law:

You ask,
"The 10 commandments were given through Moses, and where do you find in Scripture that the Law of Moses is 'passed away'? Where do you find any definition for this 'Law of Love'?"

You state,
"In Matthew 22:40 Jesus says: "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.". You said that the 10 commandments are in effect for everyone because you would be breaking one of these two. But Jesus said all of the law and the prophets. This shows us that obedience to God is bound up in obedience His entire Word, not just the 10 commandments. "

AND, most revealingly of all, you state,
"First, that all true believers past, present, future are in the same relationship with God. The saints of old knew the prophecies of salvation through Christ and eagerly awaited it."

Now, I am not trying to insult you, SRL, but nothing could be further from the truth about salvation than this last statement.

The "true believers" prior to the time of Christ were not in the same relationship with God before Jesus's coming, as we are today, after being redeemed. Otherwise, they would not have been "eagerly awaiting" His coming -- you don't eagerly await something which you already have: indeed, the main thing about something that is coming, is that it isn't here yet. Awaiting a thing isn't the same as having it -- just ask any kid on December 23.
The believers in the Old Testament knew the prophecies, it is true, but the point is, they knew that a Messiah was coming, who would save the people, though exact nature of that salvation was not quite clear.

To illustrate this,let's say you enter a contest to recieve million dollar prize, AND WIN! Having been notified of this, you eagerly await the check in the mail. You know that when it arrives, your life will change, because you will no longer be poor.
BUT, UNTIL IT ARRIVES, IT ISN'T HERE YET.
And, after your prize arrives, THEN your circumstances begin to change, not before, even though you KNOW you are going to get it.

So it is with Jesus. Adam and Eve sinned, and brought the judgment of sin upon the whole human race, but God promised to send a Savior. Throughout the Old testament, there were those who faithfully awaited the Promised One, and their faith was counted unto them as righteiousness. But until Jesus actually came, and shed His blood on the cross for us, no one was redeemed, they were all still waiting. (That is why before He arose, Jesus went and preached to the "spirits who were in prison.")
And, after Jesus died and arose again, a whole new relationship with God became possible, and we went from being slaves under the Law, to being Sons who cooperate with God out of Love.

Wiser minds than mine have written volumes on this subject, but one of the best articles I have read is this, from the publishers of Blu Letter Bible:

Properly understanding the covenants and their importance seems to be one of the most eluding pieces of theology for the modern believer. The Mosaic Covenant was directed specifically toward the nation of Israel and was concerned in its chiefest aspect with Israel's inheritance of and blessing in the land of Canaan—the Promised Land. The laws that attended this covenant, while revealing God's desire for this nation to be set apart from all others as an example, do not necessarily give us any perfect basis for understanding morality. This may seem to be a strange statement. But we ask you to consider the following points.

Much of the time when people discuss the “Law,” they are thinking primarily of the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments). However, the Law, (i.e., the Mosaic Covenant) contained several hundreds of commandments. Many of which today are not even possible to follow, due to the lack of a Jewish Temple. Yet, biblical morality is not affected by this situation.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus seemingly expanded the understanding of the Ten Commandments. Rather than just stating that we should not murder, He told us that if we called our brother a “fool,” it was the same as committing murder. So the Ten Commandments were not all encompassing as to morality.
The real question then presents itself, “What responsibility does the believer owe to the Mosaic Covenant?”

While the law is good (1 Tim 1:8), it is unable to justify (Gal 2:16). Under the “New Covenant,” Christ is our fulfillment of the law (Mat 5:17). Therefore, as to the question of what responsibility does the New Covenant believer owe to the Mosaic Covenant, the answer is “nothing” for the purposes of salvation (Gal 3:1-3). Some of the standards iterated from God through Moses upon Sinai were directed at the nation of Israel simply as the terms of a contract for possession of a certain portion of land. Deuteronomy 28 makes clear the stipulations of this covenant; essentially God would bless Israel for obedience by granting great prosperity in the land. but curse Israel for its disobedience with all manner of catastrophe culminating in the loss of Canaan. Despite God's longsuffering, Israel fails to uphold her portion of the covenant and reaps the curses God promised—climaxing in the Babylonian capture in the Seventh Century B.C.

The Law (both the covenantal and the universal, Ten Commandment aspects of it) now serves to lead mankind to understand his corruption. Just as Israel, a nation born of the fruit of God's own grace, could not stand under the righteous requirements of the Mosaic Law, neither can any man stand under the condemnation of God's universal requirement—absolute obedience of mind and action. Paul speaks of the Law as one who leads us step by step to grace, for it points out our dire need of such (cf. Galatians 3:23ff). And having taken hold of grace by faith, the believer no longer heeds the condemning beckon of the Law (cf. Romans). So then, is there any reason to look to the Levitical laws for ethical guidance unto righteousness? No—for their service now is to guide men to Christ (Galatians 3:24).

What then? Is this freedom merely for the believing Gentile? Or does the believer of Jewish decent likewise bear this liberty? As certainly as the Jewish believer holds to Christ is his freedom from the Mosaic Law assured. The chief redemptive aspect of the Mosaic Covenant has been fulfilled by Christ. The blood of bulls and goats is useless and perfectly replaced by the sacrifice of the one Son of God Himself; to return to the Mosaic Law is to deny the sacrifice of Christ. This was the impetus driving the apostles as they stood against the Judaizers (those who were requiring believers in Christ to bear up under the Mosaic Law) proclaiming, "Beware the dogs, the evildoers, the mutilation!"

Where then do we find our Christian ethic? Quite simply, in Christ's words: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength and you shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:30-31). If we follow Christ's command, we cannot break any aspect of the Ten Commandments, nor any aspect of God's morality. And we find extrapolation of these ultimate commands in all the writings of the New Testament authors. That is our ethic—and it is borne by our faith in and love for Christ rather than from our fear of breaking the law."

Now, if you WANT to go on following the Old Testament Law, that is, of course, your perfect right, and if that is the case nothing I can say is apt to change your mind. But somehow I don't think that that is the case, or we wouldn't be having this discussion. I think that you would really rather follow Jesus.
You will find Him, and all that I have been telling you about redemption and the Law of Love, in the New Testament, and I would ask you to put aside any preconcieved intellectual notions (which we all have) and just go read your Bible. It's in there.

11:01 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

Oh, and SRL, one more thing. Awhile back you asked,

"5. Who considers seeking jobs in government a main tenet of reconstructionism?

6. When you say 'overthrow the present government', do you mean by force, as in revolution? Who is advocating this?"


Here's what Gary North, J.R. Rushdoony's son in law, has to say about that:
"So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God."
Gary North, "The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right" in Christianity and Civilization: The Failure of the American Baptist Culture, No. 1 (Spring, 1982), p. 25.

North also says this:
"The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant--baptism and holy communion--must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel."

Gary North, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), p. 87.

Rushdoony said,
"Because the saints were called to manage or govern the world, very quickly it became their purpose to move into positions of authority and power."
R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press, 1973), pp. 773, 742.

This new ruling class will consist only of Reconstructionists, according to North:
"The battle for the mind, some fundamentalists believe, is between fundamentalism and the institutions of the Left. This conception of the battle is fundamentally incorrect. The battle for the mind is between the Christian reconstruction movement, which alone among Protestant groups takes seriously the law of God, and everyone else.'"

Gary North, Backward Christian Soldiers? An Action Manual For Christian Reconstruction (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1984), pp. 65-66 .

George Grant says:
"If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose.
Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land - of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God's Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations. True Christian political action seeks to rein the passions of men and curb the pattern of digression under God's rule."


David Chilton says,
"We are given parallels to the conquest of Canaan, and the destruction of its cities by the fire of judgment (Matt.10:15; 11:20ff.; Luke 10:12ff.; Deut. 9:1ff.; Matt. 24). The old Jerusalem now has the role of Canaan and is to be destroyed (Matt. 24). The whole world is the new Canaan, to be judged and conquered: 'Go ye into all the world. . . .' ",
David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1984), p. 217.

Chilton also says,
"Those who are obedient to His commands will rule the world, reconstructing it for His glory in terms of His laws. Psalm 2 shows God laughing and sneering at the pitiful attempts of the wicked to fight against and overthrow His Kingdom. He has already given His Son "all authority in heaven and earth," and the King is with His Church until the end of the age (Matt. 23:18-20)! Is it possible that the King will be defeated? He has, in fact, warned all earthly rulers to submit to His government, or perish (Ps. 2:10-12). And the same is true of His Church. The nation that will not serve us will perish (Isa. 60:12); all the peoples of the earth will be subdued under our feet (Ps. 47:1-3)--promises made originally to Israel, but now to be fulfilled in the New Israel, the Church."

David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1984), p. 117.

You also asked,

"4. Who is saying or implying that advancing a cause ( as opposed to following the law of God ) is an acceptable justification for anything?"

The Reverend Steven J. Wilkins, of Auburn Avenue Church, for starters. His deacon, whom I assume is speaking with Wilkins' permission, admitted to this publically on the church website:
Deacon Kevin Branson praises Rahab as "a spiritual hero" because "she deceived the wicked who sought to kill God's own people."

Branson said he writes about Rahab because "some of us don't have a clue about honorable and necessary deception of the wicked." His conclusion is that "sometimes God requires that we offer by way of our right hand a sweeping sword, and from our lips deception, that the wicked might fail, and Christ and His Bride might flourish."

Holy lies, Batman....

3:38 PM

6:44 PM  
Blogger srl said...

CJ,
Thanks for the responses. Perhaps, though, you copied the quotes from somewhere, such as atheism.about.com? Page 742 of volume I of "The Institutes of Biblical Law" has only part of what you quoted, and page 773 does not. One might be careful about quoting out of an unfamiliar context from other research. There's an important connective just before the section you quoted: "But". It says, "But this is not all. Because the saints were called...". The "but" is there because the entire rest of the chapter, on eldership, before and after that point, is about Christians living godly lives in the midst of a hostile society and exercising godly leadership in every area - specifically, the church. In other words, the quote is hardly saying that seeking jobs in civil government is a main tenet or a main focus.

12:27 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

I picked these up from quite a number of online sources -- they are readily available online -- but "atheism.about.com" was not one of them - I tend to prefer Christian sites. Truth is truth, after all (unless you're playing Rahab with Wilkins down in Louisiana), and even a blind pig finds a truffle now and then; maybe the fellow at the atheist site picked up his quotes from one of the same sources that I did.

At any rate, I'm sorry about the "but" typo, but that happens sometimes when one opts for the convenience of second-hand online sources, rather than getting up out of one's chair, fetching the book from wherever it's stored, hooking up the scanner, and scanning material straight from the printed text.

I think that the rest of the texts which I have provided amply prove my point, though -- no ifs, ands, or accidentally misplaced "buts".

1:13 AM  
Blogger srl said...

CJ,
OK, so you have read this and the other actual sources in context?

2:39 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

Not all, but a good many of them, certainly enough to know a false, carnally centered mindset when I see it. Reconstructionism and dominionism are all about DISOBEYING Jesus, and trying to rebuild a world system which is already condemned and is passing away. Our mission as Christians is not to reconstruct the world, rather, our mission is to tell the people in the world about the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, and spread the Gospel.

Whereas in Genesis we were commanded to "be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth", we are now under NEW orders: to "go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

Human beings were told in Genesis to take dominion of the world and the animals in it, but those marching orders have changed.

We are NOT told to take dominion over the governments and institutions of this World! Instead, WE ARE TO PREACH THE GOSPEL!

Jesus said that we are not to seek power, but to eschew it: Mat 20:25 "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Regarding such exercise of dominion, Jesus exhorted His disciples, Mat 20:26 "But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.."


It seems that men are natural born dominionists -- because we are carnal, we want to redefine heavenly things along earthly lines. We are forever trying to pull God's Kingdom out of heaven and establish ourselves it here on earth.

Even Jesus was temped in this way:
Luk 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Luk 4:6 And the devil said unto him, "All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
Luk 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine."
Luk 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."


Peter also wanted Jesus to take His place as an earthly Messiah. When Jesus talked about His death,
Mat 16:22 Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, "Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee."
Mat 16:23 But He turned, and said unto Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."


And again, when there was strife among the disciples over which of them should be accounted the greatest, Jesus said, Luk 22:25 "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. Luk 22:26 But ye [shall] not [be] so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. Luk 22:27 For whether [is] greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? [is] not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth."

Jesus's Kingdom is not of this world: Jhn 18:36 "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

....and, Jesus is not expecting us to take dominion of the earth and build an earthly kingdom for Him to rule upon His return. Rather, He is preparing a place for us:
Jhn 14:1 "¶ Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. Jhn 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. Jhn 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. Jhn 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know."

A Bride does not build a house for Her Bridegroom; the betrothed Bride of a King does not ride out and conquer kingdoms for Him while waiting for the wedding; and she certainly doesn't gain territory for the royal domain by sleeping with the "kings of the earth".

4:03 PM  
Blogger srl said...

CJ,
I was just asking about the sources and your familiarity with them. The topic we were discussing was "Considering that a main tenet of reconstructionism is that adherents should seek jobs in government, with an eye to overthrowing the present government when such a thing becomes feasible.", and so it seems that the context of quotes will be relevant as to the "main"-ness.

4:41 PM  
Blogger srl said...

CJ,
You wrote elsewhere, "I am pro-life, period." And I am almost certain that, as I do, you would condemn the killing, violence, and attempted violence mentioned on talk2action against abortionists, no? It occurs to me that that might be a good comparison in this case: Pro-life is to murdering-abortionists as theonomy is to armed-uprising.

T2a's moiv sees these actions as the logical outgrowth of the "rhetoric of hatred" and the "inevitable results" of a pro-life stance. But they aren't. They that do so are in rebellion against God, to take justice into one's own hand. The civil magistrate is appointed by God to bear the sword of justice, not individuals.

Similarly, saying that Christ is and will reign over all, and that nations ought to and will be populated and governed by the godly, is NOT a call to anything like an armed rebellion, revolt, uprising, coup.. etc. Those are also rebellion against God. And yet, there are those who attempt it - like Peter, we aren't to just pick up a sword and start cutting people's ears off.

10:49 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

Well, now, SRL, here we are in agreement. I condemn killing, violence, and attempted violence against abortionists or anyone else, and I heartily agree that those who do so "are in rebellion against God, to take justice into one's own hand." I also agree that it is the civil magistrate's job to "bear the sword", but here I am sure that we differ, since I am NOT in favor of the death penalty. Criminals do need to be punished, but punishment should allow for the possibility of rehabilitation and hopefully conversion and regeneration.

As for the notion that lawless actions are the "inevitable results" of a pro-life stance, that is patently ridiculous, BUT such actions ARE logical outgrowth of the "rhetoric of hatred", which we are seeing in certain Reconsructionist circles. There are groups which see our society and our country's government as being so depraved that they believe themselves to be justified in taking the law into their own hands, following the recommendation of Gary North:
“On the other hand, to the extent that any Christian’s position in any period of time should resemble the plight of the Christians under Roman rule, then he should take heed. Under the rule of a Hitler or a Stalin, the Christian’s proper response is outward subservience. He should bribe the dictator’s lieutenants, lie if necessary, join a Christian underground, and gain freedom of action through the lies and bribes to continue preaching and publishing.” .

There are also many in Reconsructionist circles who believe that armed revolution is justifiable against an "evil" or "oppressive" state, and go so far as to claim, along with the supporters of Dabney, that
the Civil War "was a Christian struggle of a justified South against a wicked North.”

Many of those who hold such sentiments have long flocked to Howard Phillips' Reconstructionist-leaning US Taxpayers Party, renamed the Constitution Party, which has sold antisemitic militia tracts and militia manuals at their state conventions.
At the USTP Wisconsin state convention in 1995, Rev. Matthew Trewhella called for the formation of armed militias, such as the one he leads through his church. Newsweek reported that one member of the Missionaries(who lived in Trewhella's basement for five months in 1990) kept a journal which included apparent plans for a guerrilla campaign of clinic bombings and assassinations of doctors. What's more, a 100 page guerrilla army manual was sold by the USTP of Wisconsin at that convention. Among the manual's justifications for armed resistance to the federal government was legalized abortion.

The Constitution Party, endorsed from the pulpit by Doug Phillips and other prominent Reconstructionists, is also endorsed by the League of the South, and by many in white supremicist groups; many such groups have no qualms about armed violence. The fact that that a White Nationalist group sees what is essentially a Reconstructionist-run party as espousing most of the things that they believe in, and sees the Constitution party as a group ready made for them, and recommend infiltrating it, is scary indeed.

As C. S. Lewis said of the NICE in “That Hideous Strength”, “they are kittens playing at being tigers; but they never think about what would happen if the real tiger actually showed up.”

12:13 PM  

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