Public prayer a la 1 Timothy 2:1-2

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Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Does stealing another man’s property (Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich) involve coveting? If so could a magistrate not charge a convicted thief also of coveting because his action shows his heart (and belly) guilty of that command as well?
I would say not because, as far as I know, the Law never gives us civil sanctions for coveting. It does, however, give us civil sanctions for stealing. You are right that coveting is certainly involved in the act of theft, but the fact remains that when someone is punished for theft, they are punished for an outward act, not an internal disposition.

This, by the way, is why the very idea of "hate crimes" is so wicked. Civilly, I ought to be able to hate whomever I wish as harshly as I wish for as long as I wish without fear of civil punishment, as long as I do not act on such feelings. I will certainly to to hell for it, but the civil magistrate does not have the wherewithal to accurately determine my guilt, and my hating someone in my heart has no effect on the prosperity of a society (again, as long as I do not act on my hatred). That is not to say that hatred is good; of course it isn't. However, it does show the wisdom of God, since he knew that if some nation would ever make hate a crime (and we know no country would ever so insane as to do that :banghead: ), then there would be no end to the tyranny they would inflict upon their citizenry, defining as "hate" whatever best suits their wicked purposes.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
If the sacraments are not being handled in an appropriate manner then it would first need to fall to the elders to use the keys. If people continue to abuse the sacraments, then yes some form of civil penalty would need to be required.

That's the problem. Elders aren't politicians. The elder at the Presbyterian church has no jurisdiction at the Baptist church. He can investigate the baptist church all he wants, but he can't do anything. HE would have to snitch to the government. This is where we are starting to blur the lines and coming very close to either Caesaropapism or Erastianism.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk

Not all sins are crimes. While I reject theonomy this is one of the very good points they made. If I get drunk at home, that's a sin. It's not a crime. If I lust in my bedroom, that's a sin but I am not sure how it could be a crime.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Not all sins are crimes. While I reject theonomy this is one of the very good points they made. If I get drunk at home, that's a sin. It's not a crime. If I lust in my bedroom, that's a sin but I am not sure how it could be a crime.
I agree, really I just did not understand Iain's point that about Coveting. The government and elders has a duty to condemn covetousness and promote contentment. That would look different than how they handle a murder. Example: tobacco is not illegal, but it is obvious that our government is (or has been) in the business of suppressing it's use. What is a way the government can help suppress internal private lust? Well they could ban strip clubs and advertisement billboards thereof. They could make all p0rnography illegal. No none of this would fully eliminate the sin, but it would surely help some by removing stumbling blocks and seem to line upon more with their biblically prescribed duty.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
What’s missing from this discussion is that the magistrate has an interest in their people being godly, and the well-being of the church is indispensable to that. While the government can only restrain outward behavior, the church’s jurisdiction is the soul. But if you cure the soul, you cure the outward behavior. If you want sodomy banished, abortion ended, end to discrimination, laws can help—but hearts ultimately need to be changed.

The government’s lack of jurisdiction of the soul is not reason to keep the church at arm’s length. Rather, it means the government desperately needs the church. And the sooner she realizes that, the better for her and the nation, as the government cannot possibly hope to have a governable people without the institution by which Christ changes hearts.

Whatever the government’s countenancing looks like, it certainly can’t be “I’m not allowed to talk to you.”
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
What is a way the government can help suppress internal private lust?

On one level, nothing. That's not government's job.
Well they could ban strip clubs and advertisement billboards thereof

Agreed. Though that has more to do with public decency than private morality. This would fall under Augustine's discussion of res publica and common good in Book 19 of City of God.
They could make all p0rnography illegal.

There is a better way to do it. If you try to make it illegal, then you are in the very tough situation of defining what is and isn't p0rn. It will also create a black market for it and increase human trafficking. Just have all the p0rnographers executed. No trial.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
The fact that their are still perceived problems with implementation does not negate the biblical duty at all. Any systems implemented by humans will have problems.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
The fact that their are still perceived problems with implementation does not negate the biblical duty at all. Any systems implemented by humans will have problems.

As long as you are willing to publicly and honestly say you will criminalize Baptists, then I acknowledge you are consistent with your claims. Still, the problems need to be dealt with. Study the political ramifications of Covenanter history and you will see.

And I repeat my question: will this establishmentarianism be of a small Covenanter micro-denomination or will it be a larger Athanasian pluralism?
 

B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
@Ben Zartman - please PM me the address to your church and let me know where the best places to live in Bristol are.

....just in case I'm exiled to Rhode Island with the other Baptists.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
And I repeat my question: will this establishmentarianism be of a small Covenanter micro-denomination or will it be a larger Athanasian pluralism?
Jacob, you are better than me at being versed in the "isms". So if your actually directing a question at me, then I may need some help with your terms. If this question is more general then some more knowledgeable than me will hopefully answer.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Not all sins are crimes. While I reject theonomy this is one of the very good points they made. If I get drunk at home, that's a sin. It's not a crime. If I lust in my bedroom, that's a sin but I am not sure how it could be a crime.
I can’t believe all you quoted from Grant to make this response was the word "Popeye's." :rofl:
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Jacob, you are better than me at being versed in the "isms". So if your actually directing a question at me, then I may need some help with your terms. If this question is more general then some more knowledgeable than me will hopefully answer.

It's from Gary North. Basically Trinitarianism that doesn't reduce to which micro-denomination is most pure.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Well to be clear, I would certainly prefer a Protestant Establishment over what we have now.

Perhaps, though it isn't clear on how Baptists, Lutherans, Reformed, and maybe Anglicans (depending on whether they are still loyal to the Queen as head of the church (and maybe state)) will work this out. Yes, I know I pointed to a broader Trinitarian consensus as preferable to a Covenanter state (which will never happen), but even here it has its problems. Just not as many.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Which means we are back to all of the problematic areas that Prof Duguid and I mentioned. Which church? Whose denomination? (Apologies to Alasdair MacIntyre).

The difficulty doesn’t make any less true what I’ve said. Do you agree or disagree with the church-state mutual need as I described it?

You’ve said elsewhere that the pro-countenancing types here are being dodgy. I’ve brought up the Nicene Council, the Chalcedonian, the Synod of Dort, and the Westminster Assembly and described not a few times that these instances of countenancing and supporting the church have produced extraordinary good. History proves it is needful at some level. But this so far has been downplayed, or unacknowledged.

At the Synod of Dort the Arminians labored and fought to front-load the debate with the most heated questions. It may have concerned God actively reprobating the non elect. The most emotional topics discussed first would have killed the response to the Remonstrants. One has to wonder if we would have the Canons had they succeeded, as something entirely good would have been squelched because, quite out of order, the most emotional issues were discussed first.

No accusation of intentional detailing intended, but there seems to be an echo of that procedure in this discussion.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Do you agree or disagree with the church-state mutual need as I described it?

The problem is that the term "church" used then isn't the same situation as today. Which church?
’ve brought up the Nicene Council, the Chalcedonian,

They were called by the Emperor and received their authority thus. That's partly why the Byzantine Emperor was officially known as "Equal to the Apostles." I'm not sure we want to go that route.

Per Synod, there was an identifiable body of united Reformed doctrine in Western Europe (excluding Baptists). If that situation obtained today, it might be workable.

Per Westminster: that's the only tricky one, in that it was called by Parliament and represented several disparate evangelical bodies (which later splintered under Cromwell)
supporting the church have produced extraordinary good

Let's take Justinian the Great's response to monophysitism in the . On one hand we are grateful to him for solidifying earlier Chalcedonian gains, but his theological incompetency alienated otherwise sound miaphysites (whom he labeled monophysites) on grounds of vocabulary (which was opposite of what Athanasius intended). The result was that he lost Egypt. The further result is that Egypt was politically, militarily, and spiritually open to the Islamic invasion.

Of course, the negative conclusions don't prove Justinian was wrong, but if we are arguing from conclusions, as you seem to be doing, it's a fair observation.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
The problem is that the term "church" used then isn't the same situation as today. Which church?


They were called by the Emperor and received their authority thus. That's partly why the Byzantine Emperor was officially known as "Equal to the Apostles." I'm not sure we want to go that route.

Per Synod, there was an identifiable body of united Reformed doctrine in Western Europe (excluding Baptists). If that situation obtained today, it might be workable.

Per Westminster: that's the only tricky one, in that it was called by Parliament and represented several disparate evangelical bodies (which later splintered under Cromwell)


Let's take Justinian the Great's response to monophysitism in the . On one hand we are grateful to him for solidifying earlier Chalcedonian gains, but his theological incompetency alienated otherwise sound miaphysites (whom he labeled monophysites) on grounds of vocabulary (which was opposite of what Athanasius intended). The result was that he lost Egypt. The further result is that Egypt was politically, militarily, and spiritually open to the Islamic invasion.

Of course, the negative conclusions don't prove Justinian was wrong, but if we are arguing from conclusions, as you seem to be doing, it's a fair observation.

To address your very last sentence first, bringing in the Baptists at all has been an argument from conclusion. "Bad things happen to Baptists whenever there is the supporting/countenancing/establishing of the church by the government, therefore it is unbiblical." Variant, "Certain groups won't get countenanced, (implicit conclusion) therefore it is unbiblical ." If I'm arguing from conclusions, it's because I wasn't the first to do it. I personally would very much prefer a strictly Scripture principles-based discussion where you are not allowed to mention Baptists or Covenanters, or Trump, or Hillary, or Biden.

I'm not sure why the deficiencies (even severe deficiencies) of government leaders militates against supporting/countenancing. Bad men do good things, sometimes even do their duty. But nonetheless they have nursed the church in such capacities, and the work of those councils will richly feed the church worldwide till the Second Coming. We owe to these creeds and confessions our knowledge of God, our sanctification, our faithful preaching every week, very likely our own salvation. No one wants to imagine what we would be had these things not happened.

By "church" I didn't have any time period in mind or any variation, only the one headed by Christ, by which He changes hearts in the preaching of the Gospel. Do you agree or disagree with the state's need of the church as described in post #95?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
"Bad things happen to Baptists whenever there is the supporting/countenancing/establishing of the church by the government, therefore it is unbiblical."

I never once said it is unbiblical. I said it is going to end in disaster. At best, it is adiaphora and not necessary to the bene esse of the church. I don't have to prove it is biblical or unbiblical (you, however, have to prove it is biblical, or at least conducive to the esse and bene esse of the church).
By "church" I didn't have any time period in mind or any variation, only the one headed by Christ, by which He changes hearts in the preaching of the Gospel.

If that's how you want to define it, then you can't appeal to history as those conditions usually haven't obtained. They almost certainly didn't obtain in the Nicene and Chalcedonian councils, since at best the bishops were Christian as well as some of the laity. Constantine saw a good move and made it.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
Well, we certainly wouldn’t establish a Baptist Church. How could you? Once you did, it would no longer be Baptist! ;-)
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
@Ben Zartman - please PM me the address to your church and let me know where the best places to live in Bristol are.

....just in case I'm exiled to Rhode Island with the other Baptists.
The best place in Bristol is outside of it...I've now moved to Little Compton. Still, we'll be glad to take all the confessional Baptists here in RI. All sorts of Colonial-era meeting houses, all full of corrupt denominations. I'd like to see a decent RB church in every town, so I didn't have to drive across the entire state to get to mine.
Come on over!
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
Would you mind explaining this? Precisely what difficulty do you think WCF 20.2 presents?
Full-blown establishmentarianism (man, ya gotta love at least that word...) demands conformity to a particular church, as is seen with states that have had such an arrangement with the RCC or even the COE at various times and places in history. The results have often been very ugly and a bit bloody. WCF 20.2 states that if I can't conform to particular religious beliefs and practices in good conscience, then to do so is a betrayal of my God-given faculties. Thus a measure of incompatibility seems undeniable.

Most establishmentarians here seem to be paedobaptist and they almost always base their position in terms of their party being "in charge". Well, what if a credobaptist state-sponsored church predominated (which in this day and age would be a far more likely scenario)? Would they still insist that all should affirm and submit? I don't think so.

The use of scriptures like Isaiah 49:23 to support establishmentarianism is really no different than credobaptists using scriptures like Jeremiah 31:34 in support of their position. Both are cases of an over-realized eschatology, in my opinion. In the reality of the here and now, the American revisions to WCF 20.4 and 23.3, where the civil government aids and abets the freedom of all orthodox Christian churches, seems eminently wiser and more in line with what 20.2 in effect proposes.
 
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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Full-blown establishmentarianism (man, ya gotta love at least that word...) demands conformity to a particular church, as is seen with states that have had such an arrangement with the RCC or even the COE at various times and places in history. The results have often been very ugly and a bit bloody. WCF 20.2 states that if I can't conform to particular religious beliefs and practices in good conscience it is a betrayal of my God-given faculties. Thus a measure of incompatibility seems undeniable.

Most establishmentarians here seem to be paedobaptist and they almost always base their position in terms of their party being "in charge". Well, what if a credobaptist state-sponsored church predominated (which in this day and age would be a far more likely scenario)? Would they still insist that all should affirm and submit? I don't think so.

The use of scriptures like Isaiah 49:23 to support establishmentarianism is really no different than credobaptists using scriptures like Jeremiah 31:34 in support of their position. Both are cases of an over-realized eschatology, in my opinion. In the reality of the here and now, the American revisions to WCF 20.4 and 23.3, where the civil government aids and abets the freedom of all orthodox Christian churches, seems eminently wiser and more in line with what 20.2 in effect proposes.

That's pretty much the issue. I doubt anyone here would reject a general Christian government in charge. That's why appeals to Isaiah 49 are completely beside the point. What denomination is in charge? It's a simple question.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
What denomination is in charge? It's a simple question.
Jacob, no one can answer that because we cannot predict the future. It is likely if you want individual answers that many would pick their own. However, and AGAIN, the difficulties that would arise do not neglect the biblical requirement (if granted mind you). Regardless of the denomination supported by the magistrate, we the people would be required to submit where conscience allows, pray and work for reform, and rebel against any required sin. I think a few hear have tried to answer your “simple” questions, you just do not accept it as answer and that is OKAY, just reconsider posting the “no body wants to answer comments”. We do and we are trying.

Further, I am hearing no alternative goal proposed by anti-establishmentarians only critiques. Are you proposing the magistrate remains broadly Protestant and only outlaw things like Mormonism and Islam? Or are you proposing we keep & maintain what we have today in the USA (any god any worship)?
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
WCF 20.2 states that if I can't conform to particular religious beliefs and practices in good conscience, then to do so is a betrayal of my God-given faculties.
Does it really? You might just be reading something into it there.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
That's pretty much the issue. I doubt anyone here would reject a general Christian government in charge. That's why appeals to Isaiah 49 are completely beside the point. What denomination is in charge? It's a simple question.
Or in case of Second Reformation Scotland circa 1640s-50s, what faction of the established church, because of course being made up of sinful men, things are never nice and tidy? Is the only acceptable establishment the goal of the remonstrant/protester faction of the Church of Scotland circa 1649? If so, since that is often put forward as the height of Presbyterian reform, is it right to only have church members communing in good standing as soldiers in the army? Is the church the final arbiter if a war is to be engaged in by the civil government and if the war proceeds, are those for war targeted for suspension from church ordinances, offices of civil and ecclesiastical government, etc.? On military failure, do you keep purging the army so it is absolutely only the worthy fighting, a la Gideon? Do you suppress your rivals in the church through the government or at least try to do so? Again, we have at least this historical case study that can be made and there must be others in other countries' histories that could be made and evaluated to learn what not to do if establishment is the goal. We may not know the future, but we sure can know the past and what mistakes to avoid. I'm asking all this not as an opponent but as someone who thinks there should be establishment. Will various factions in Presbyterianism settle for small beginnings or will they simply remain divided as they do ecclesiastically? In fact, perhaps Presbyterians for establishment should really focus on healing their schisms and separation and that may very well be the lesson needed to see the way forward for what an establishment in the future should look like?
 
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