Puritan Board Junior
Rev. Winzer, what are the implications of that for contemporary society?From the outset Christianity has recognised the right of civil magistrates to make legal judgements concerning true religion.Neither did ANY NT author or the early Christian apologists.
John 19:7-11, "The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin."
Acts 25:7-12, "And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all. But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
Tertullian, Apology, chapter 1, “Rulers of the Roman Empire ... What harm can it do to the laws, supreme in their domain, to give her a hearing? ... The proof of their ignorance, at once condemning and excusing their injustice, is this, that those who once hated Christianity because they knew nothing about it, no sooner come to know it than they all lay down at once their enmity. From being its haters they become its disciples. By simply getting acquainted with it, they begin now to hate what they had formerly been, and to profess what they had formerly hated; and their numbers are as great as are laid to our charge. The outcry is that the State is filled with Christians — that they are in the fields, in the citadels, in the islands: they make lamentation, as for some calamity, that both sexes, every age and condition, even high rank, are passing over to the profession of the Christian faith; and yet for all, their minds are not awakened to the thought of some good they have failed to notice in it."
Should governing authorities FORBID False Religion then? Should Civil Authorities forbid Idolatry then?
And How? Still my questions on my first post.
And how could Civil Authorities say what is False Religion and True Religion?
And if Civil Authorities have that right concerning True Religion, what happens when they are deceived to think a False Religion as being the True one?
For instance what are the implications when Christians live under an Islamic State (the xiite islam like Iran actually promotes a theocracy, but the question applies to the sunite islam too )
where there is no Religious freedom?
Should they under Islamic Civil Authorities still obey in the religious sphere the commandments of
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
or Titus 3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey.
Is not rather that in that situation they should rather say like Peter: We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5
Isn’t Constantinianism and Erastinianism precisely the extremes we should keep ourselves from?
in my opinion the only way to avoid those 2 extremes is to understand that God rules both society and the church as different independent spheres (2 Kingdoms) and trough different means
(Special Revelation / Natural Revelation + Natural Law + Providence).
And while we, Christians, as are members of God’s Kingdom, the Visible Church, we will only see the complete integration of both spheres in consummation,
that's why we pray for the coming of the Kingdom with thirst of final complete aboslute justice.
Till then we must also avoid the anabaptistic pietistic tendency to withdraw from our role in this world, because we are also citizens of Civil Society, we should commit in our jobs, in our civic duties, in our marriages (also a temporary institution), in our daily activities to be a positive influence in this world.
Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s Luke 20:25
That’s the way I’ve been reading Kuyper, which is in my opinion quite different from the way Reconstructionists and Theonomists try to read him.