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Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Me Died Blue, Feb 24, 2006.
Jacob quotes Bahnsen:
But crime could ALSO be viewed as an offense against the general welfare of the people.
I take the view that Joe Citizen is the chief agent of law enforcement. When I see a crime being committed I call for professional assistance, as I would any other task beyond my capability such as plumbing repair or heart surgery.
The Rodney King riots demonstrated the fact that if the people begin looting, the professional police force is rendered impotent. If the entire nation engaged in civil disobedience, that disobedience would surely stand. Thus it is shown that police power only assists the needs of the people.
Bahnsen makes a false conclusion in the above quote.
Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Rom 13:5 Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Rom 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Nero was in power when Paul penned this. Was he enforcing the moral law? Did Nero have any sympathy to Christian doctrine whatsoever?
Good to chat with you.
I'm certainly not advocating rebellion for minor things. My point is that we have power vested in the people. Police assist citizens in law enforcement, not the other way around. Real police power is mine because I am the eyes and ears of crime detection. The police are essentially powerless in the face of overwhelming numbers. They are outnumbered, what, 500 to 1?
PS I agreed with your posting on Trevor's new thread.
I would agree with the 39 Articles:
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 there 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.
But the question arises: What should NT obedience be like? Is it identical to obedience in the Mosaic context?
Could you clarify what you mean?
For example, the Sabbath is still holy but should I respond in the letter of Moses or in the spirit of Christ?
We observe the sabbath, but not the same way as in the OT.
Oh right...I was under the impression that the question was what was the role of the civil magistrate in enforcing the decalogue.
Wouldn't it be a thorny task today to enforce the 4th commandment in light of Col 2:16 and Romans 14:6?
Adding to the list:
I love it when we find the modern two-kingdom doctrine found in the puritans writings. Good job, Chris. Warms my heart that we have not strayed.
I think the last answer shows at least one puritan's outworking of general equity.
This quote from Ames shows that he was theodidactic, not theonomic. I may even have made that point once before.
How is the quote non-theonomic?
As an aside, my goal in collating our forefathers' views regarding the magistrate and the first table is not to argue for/against theonomy but rather to establish the drift we've undergone. We always cry out to go to the sources to determine what is reformed, well I'm doing that and whether one thinks that theonomy is/isn't found there we can all rest assured that pluralism and the modern day notion of separation won't be found there. If anything it was theocratic in the sense that the Magistrate was bound to God in his duties. Both tables.
If I may humbly request not to bloat this thread by rehashing theonomy again so we can use it as a collection piece. If there is a quote such as Ames above that sparks discussion, may I suggest that someone start a new thread?
He says "it bind not Christians as it is a Law," nomos, "yet as it is a doctrine," didache. He recognises discretionary power to be exercised by the magistrate: "When therefore the glory of God, and the safty of the Church requires such a punishment." It is not legislation which must be rigidly enforced. Hence he says "it may be used," and says it only ought to be inflicted "if other remedies have been used in vain."
I sincerely believe that you overly limit the flexibility in Theonomy, but I won't fight you. I only have a limited number of arrows and hours in the day, and they will not be used on a fellow two-tabler.
In Latin "two tabler" would mean I like desserts. True on both counts.