First table of the law as US law?

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Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
Here's a reductio. You take a godly culture, add natural law 2K pluralism and a few hundred years, and what do you have? Tens of millions of murders of innocent babies. You deny God's law for the civil sphere, and pfffffffft. There goes the 6th Commandment.

I would rather take my chances as a persecuted Baptist (only if the error is propogated), than as a baby in the womb of a woman who, with her doctor, buys the idea that the magistrate, ruling under Christ and using the moral law revealed in Scripture, represents an inappropriate mixture of the Two Kingdoms.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
You take a godly culture, add natural law 2K pluralism and a few hundred years, and what do you have? Tens of millions of murders of innocent babies. You deny God's law for the civil sphere, and pfffffffft. There goes the 6th Commandment.

That's not a reductio. That's the propter hoc fallacy. Anyway, I don't know what 2K pluralism is. I hope you hold to a form of two kingdoms, since it is the Reformed position. Nobody here is advocating "pluralism" (which went undefined).
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
I understand the difference between sin and crime. Infant baptism was seen both by Anabaptists and Reformed (and Lutherans and Catholics) as having sociological implications.

The Establishmentarian guys here want to broaden it out to other denominations (though that's usually the opposite of how it was historically). That's great. They haven't given us any metric on which denominations are good and which aren't.
You didn't recognize the difference in response to Phil D, who also doesn't seem to recognize the difference when he speaks of "Imprisonment for differences on baptism."

It is morally obligatory that the metric start with, the extent to which recognition and submission to King Jesus in the civil realm is greater than zero.

We first need to figure out whether this metric has the positive definite.
If the metric doesn't have the positive definite, it makes no sense to talk about how the metric might be applied in specific cases.
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
That's not a reductio. That's the propter hoc fallacy. Anyway, I don't know what 2K pluralism is. I hope you hold to a form of two kingdoms, since it is the Reformed position. Nobody here is advocating "pluralism" (which went undefined).
ok, it's not a reductio. ( You went deep apparatus on me there...I know you'll play it straight up when it's time to talk about "metric."

It's not a fallacy, either. It was elliptical for
"It should've been easy to predict that with the pluralism (more than one is morally acceptable or desirable) which has ruled the West, that a godly cultural would become a murderous one."

You think VanDrunen, et al aren't pluralistic?
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
I hope you hold to a form of two kingdoms
Yesterday, in a thread you participated in, I wrote
"traditional two kingdom...
That's regular 2K. People like the Puritans. Andrew Melville with his famous speech to the King. Calvin said some 2K-ish things.
But Calvin and some others who talked about 2 kingdoms also thought that the state *ought* to recognize and submit to King Jesus.

r2k-ers like Hart, VanDrunen, Scott Clark, and Escondido Theology advocates in general, deny that. That's what gives you the "r.""

Why would you even say, "I hope you hold to a form of two kingdoms"?
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
In another thread you indicated you were favorable to imprisonment for this. Imprisonment! I'm utterly flabbergasted. So yeah, let's do that - separate and traumatize parents and children alike - for everyone's good, of course. No added issues there at all. And it's so in the spirit of godly discipleship, gently correcting those in supposed error, and true Gospel-wrought heart transformation! Appalling...

Historically, other than a few extreme examples from the very earliest times of the Reformation (e.g. Zurich 1518-1530-ish) I can't think of any examples where Protestant authorities actually imprisoned people on such grounds. To my knowledge the Westminster era English didn't advocate such. Yet now in this day and age some really think this would be appropriate. Again, utterly appalling, and absolutely galvanizing to my non-establishmentarian stance.
No I said I wasn't in favor of anything. But for someone who holds to establishment principle that would be a possible penalty, since I don't hold to establishment it's no problem for me. I said so that a penalty would be on the table so we could discuss it. If the establishment is paedobabtism in law it would be illegal not to baptize your children. We are just trying to get something concrete on the table to discuss instead of broad generic principles.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
"Sin"? Not "crime"?

We're over 200 posts in, and you guys still under the impression that the magistrate (according to the Establishment Principle) is to punish sins which aren't crimes?

Would've been an easier reductio, though.
Some sins are generally recognized as crimes (think bestiality); others are nowhere regarded as crimes (coveting). By definition, if you want the magistrate to enforce the first table of the law according to the interpretation of the established church, you want to increase the number of sins that are regarded as crimes. That's not a condemnation of the view, merely a description.

What that highlights is that when people talk about "the establishment principle" they are not all talking about the same thing (or even necessarily clear in their own mind what they want). Established churches have historically ranged from maximalist (jailing and executing Baptists and conservative presbyterians; proposing the death penalty for sabbath breakers - see John Cotton's proposal for New England posted on one of these threads) to liberal (Scotland currently has an established Presbyterian church that refers to the WCF as a guide, but it has little impact on legislation). The question we keep asking is "What kind of establishment do you want?" For example, if the magistrate is to enforce the commandment about idolatry, he should be smashing stained glass windows and wrecking organs (as happened in Puritan England). But is singing accompanied by an organ a greater sin than refusing to baptize your child and advocating that others do likewise? And before you know it, you are jailing John Bunyan. I'm not sure how you have a maximalist establishment without going there (and requiring religious tests for many forms of employment - you don't want those pesky evangelical arminians teaching your children...). Immigration and citizenship is restricted to Reformed Presbyterians who believe in the establishment principle only. But if all you want is what is already in place in present day England or Scotland, I'm not sure it's worth fighting about. It confuses unbelievers, who think that being English = being CofE = being a Christian, but at least it leaves room for genuine churches to exist outside the establishment.

Then there is the utopian establishmentarian who is convinced that by the time we get the establishment, through the work of the Spirit, we'll all be sabbath keeping, psalm singing Presbyterians, so where's the problem? But if the eschaton needs to happen before we get an established church, it's hardly worth discussing in the present.
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
No I said I wasn't in favor of anything. But for someone who holds to establishment principle that would be a possible penalty, since I don't hold to establishment it's no problem for me. I said so that a penalty would be on the table so we could discuss it. If the establishment is paedobabtism in law it would be illegal not to baptize your children. We are just trying to get something concrete on the table to discuss instead of broad generic principles.

Looking back at and combining several other posts of yours in that thread I am now seeing the rhetorical nature of your comment. I didn't quite get that from the single post I was referring to. I should have read back further or at least sought clarification. My sincerest apologies.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
You think VanDrunen, et al aren't pluralistic?

The terminology, "whatever religious conviction", seems to indicate other religions with different gods and is pluralistic. The first table is not to be a factor in the thinking of Civil Government according to R2K proponents if I understand them correctly. Just read through the older threads on this topic.

“The fact is the civil kingdom has been ordained by God as a common realm, a realm for all people of whatever religious conviction in which to live and pursue their cultural tasks, while natural law is God’s common moral revelation given to all people of whatever religious conviction.” David Van Drunen, “A Biblical case for Natural Law”, p.38 (2006)
 
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Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
Some sins are generally recognized as crimes (think bestiality); others are nowhere regarded as crimes (coveting). By definition, if you want the magistrate to enforce the first table of the law according to the interpretation of the established church, you want to increase the number of sins that are regarded as crimes. That's not a condemnation of the view, merely a description.

What that highlights is that when people talk about "the establishment principle" they are not all talking about the same thing (or even necessarily clear in their own mind what they want). Established churches have historically ranged from maximalist (jailing and executing Baptists and conservative presbyterians; proposing the death penalty for sabbath breakers - see John Cotton's proposal for New England posted on one of these threads) to liberal (Scotland currently has an established Presbyterian church that refers to the WCF as a guide, but it has little impact on legislation). The question we keep asking is "What kind of establishment do you want?" For example, if the magistrate is to enforce the commandment about idolatry, he should be smashing stained glass windows and wrecking organs (as happened in Puritan England). But is singing accompanied by an organ a greater sin than refusing to baptize your child and advocating that others do likewise? And before you know it, you are jailing John Bunyan. I'm not sure how you have a maximalist establishment without going there (and requiring religious tests for many forms of employment - you don't want those pesky evangelical arminians teaching your children...). Immigration and citizenship is restricted to Reformed Presbyterians who believe in the establishment principle only. But if all you want is what is already in place in present day England or Scotland, I'm not sure it's worth fighting about. It confuses unbelievers, who think that being English = being CofE = being a Christian, but at least it leaves room for genuine churches to exist outside the establishment.

Then there is the utopian establishmentarian who is convinced that by the time we get the establishment, through the work of the Spirit, we'll all be sabbath keeping, psalm singing Presbyterians, so where's the problem? But if the eschaton needs to happen before we get an established church, it's hardly worth discussing in the present.
Of the Christians who try to define God, all the definitions are different, so all Christians must all be wrong about God.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Looking back at and combining several other posts of yours in that thread I am now seeing the rhetorical nature of your comment. I didn't quite get that from the single post I was referring to. I should have read back further or at least sought clarification. My sincerest apologies.
No worries man, we all do it. I'm you get it now.
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
The terminology, "whatever religious conviction", seems to indicate other religions with different gods and is pluralistic. The first table is not to be a factor in the thinking of Civil Government according to R2K proponents if I understand them correctly. Just read through the older threads on this topic.

“The fact is the civil kingdom has been ordained by God as a common realm, a realm for all people of whatever religious conviction in which to live and pursue their cultural tasks, while natural law is God’s common moral revelation given to all people of whatever religious conviction.” David Van Drunen, “A Biblical case for Natural Law”, p.38 (2006)
More DVD, from Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law: "one of the things required by natural law is treating fellow human beings with the dignity they deserve. This raises the question whether this mutual respect human beings owe to one another includes respect for freedom of religion. I believe the answer is yes, and this points the way to a different, but better argument for natural law right to religious liberty. My conclusion, derived from the Noahic covenant is that there is penultimate natural law right to religious freedom before fellow human beings, and this right is granted by God."

I think he's saying that more than one are acceptable (pluralism).
 

Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
My conclusion, derived from the Noahic covenant is that there is penultimate natural law right to religious freedom before fellow human beings, and this right is granted by God."
So God granted the worshippers of Baal the right to do so?
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
Of the Christians who try to define God, all the definitions are different, so all Christians must all be wrong about God.
A more proper inference would be "so all Christians must be careful to define what kind of God they are speaking about". I didn't say here that establishmentarianism was wrong, merely that it is often ill-defined, and different people mean different things by it. It would be helpful to be clear about exactly what form of establishment people think we should pursue.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
Yes, he's saying that Baal worship and Baal missions ought to be legal.
I suspect that DVD would use exactly the same distinction you invoked earlier: they are sinful but they should nonetheless be legal. That's not quite the same thing as "God granted the Baal worshippers the right to do so"

Should Catholic worship and missions be legal? Should Arminian worship and missions be legal? Should Baptist worship and missions be legal? Should non-Sabbatarian, non-psalm singing OPC worship and missions be legal? These may be all be sinful monuments to idolatry, but it's not always easy to know where to draw the line.

On the other hand, pushing back in the other direction, should Molech worshippers be allowed to sacrifice their children? I haven't read DVD but I certainly think he would say no, but on the basis that their religion requires them to break the natural law that says murder is wrong.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
And credobaptists became persecuted refugees. And everyone knows there isn't even the smallest biblical basis for not eagerly participating in paedobaptism. So by all means, those believers' conscience be damned, let's do whatever may seem necessary in the realm of civil/church punishment to get rid of these heretics.


If separating the kids from their parents is a good solution, then why not make the separation permanent by whatever means necessary to affect such an end?



Now you've struck at the fatal flaw in establishmentarianism - everyone assumes their church will be calling the shots.
I love that last statement, exactly. And what are they going to do historically if their not the ones calling the shots? Rebel in the name of the true religion, which leads to death, destruction, and persecution. How we think we can redo history and it turn our differentially is beyond me?
 

Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
I suspect that DVD would use exactly the same distinction you invoked earlier: they are sinful but they should nonetheless be legal. That's not quite the same thing as "God granted the Baal worshippers the right to do so"

Should Catholic worship and missions be legal? Should Arminian worship and missions be legal? Should Baptist worship and missions be legal? Should non-Sabbatarian, non-psalm singing OPC worship and missions be legal? These may be all be sinful monuments to idolatry, but it's not always easy to know where to draw the line.

On the other hand, pushing back in the other direction, should Molech worshippers be allowed to sacrifice their children? I haven't read DVD but I certainly think he would say no, but on the basis that their religion requires them to break the natural law that says murder is wrong.
I see the distinction now. Thanks.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
The Establishmentarian guys here want to broaden it out to other denominations (though that's usually the opposite of how it was historically). That's great. They haven't given us any metric on which denominations are good and which aren't.
I gave some boundaries. I referenced some things you are not looking at.
https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/first-table-of-the-law-as-us-law.100841/page-8#post-1230315

Now if you want to do more than Daniel Ritchie has spoken about concerning minutia and things we can't deal with as of yet then it lands on your table to give us your wisdom.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
In the context of my whole post, in order to get establishment people died.
One needs to look at this historically also and that is not being done. The Roman Church had a part we are not dealing with here. It is of less relevance today than it was back then.

You are so messed up in your primers here. You want to examine stuff and evaluate things based upon past history that doesn't realize the present in my estimation. That is part of the problem with R2K also.

There are mandates. Even some of the Noahic that can apply here that is beneficial but they have to be reexamined here and for good reason. Dr. Kloosterman dealt with them and did a good job but....

I will try my best to help here. But I need some time to ingest and work through this. I am a bear of very little brain. Men better than me should be doing this and probably are and have. I have been gone for a few years due to health. but I will try.
 
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PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
In the mean time please give these your attention. Dr. Blackwood went to Russia and had some things pointed out to him that had to do with the decalogue. Listen to Roy. It comes later as this presentation is basically his testimony.

https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/the-mediatorial-kingdom-of-Christ/


Phil Pockras wrote this concerning the Kingdoms of Christ.

https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/Christ-the-king-of-all/

I would hope that we are struggling like Moses did. "I can't do this God," was Moses' response. I know that response. I give it to Him often. At the same time I would hope we could see that God Commands something and we should submit. We have to obey God and then allow his results to happen in every age and in every circumstance. I see us in an age like when Moses had to have his arms lifted up and held for victory. That sounds stupid. There are battles won and battles lost. Time moves on. We are just called to pronounce truth and obey. To relinquish the law of God (the first table) based upon human wisdom and how to perform is something we will always have to struggle with in ourselves. Time and history will reveal what He has done and for what reason.

Take heart. The whole decalogue is good for both the Civil realm and obviously the Church. It brought me to Christ as I saw that God was good. If God was as good as His commandments then I needed that God. He is perfect. Society has nothing but benefit if they adopt His law and His loving will.
 
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jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
One needs to look at this historically also and that is not being done. The Roman Church had a part we are not dealing with here. It is of less relevance today than it was back then.

You are so messed up in your primers here. You want to examine stuff and evaluate things based upon past history that doesn't realize the present in my estimation. That is part of the problem with R2K also.

There are mandates. Even some of the Noahic that can apply here that is beneficial but they have to be laid aside for good reason. Dr. Kloosterman dealt with them and did a good job but....

I will try my best to help here. But I need some time to ingest and work through this. I am a bear of very little brain. Men better than me should be doing this and probably are and have. I have been gone for a few years due to health. but I will try.
When did I not look at the present? I've affirmed the evils of abortion, if by not look at the present you mean not look at it through your presuppositions about history, guilty. But that would be no different than saying you aren't looking at the present. That's the rock throwing I was reffering to. How many establishment churches/societies gave women the right to vote? Decreased the general illiteracy rate among the population? Reduced deaths, wars, and persecution due to intolerance of non establishment denominations ? We can throw these rocks all we want to. When most establishment people on here, not everyone me thinks, admit it isn't going to work without a massive spiritual renewal and/or some postmillianal golden age that ought to tell you something. When most agree it did bring death, wars, and persecution but we "hope" it will work out differentially. I admire the honesty it takes to admit that and have hope. I do not doubt that only the best of intentions are present in you and all those who agree with you.
I stated very clearly that I do not view the present as better than the past in all or most ways, they are different that's all (better in some ways and worse in others). But are you trying to argue that by having a general optimistic view about our culture now means I must approve, overlook, the evils of our society? By saying that in some ways our society works better than the past societies means it's better? I agree with the either/or problem you pointed out but my logic and reasoning in no way supports such an interpretation. I've said many times I don't make value judgements about the periods in question, only state facts.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
How many establishment churches/societies gave women the right to vote?
Uh, what?
Decreased the general illiteracy rate among the population?
All of them, if you want to know. Or, at least, Protestantism did that.
Reduced deaths, wars, and persecution due to intolerance of non establishment denominations?
How on earth could this be calculated?
Did people not die to acheive it, most of the time?
Here we go again.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I've said many times I don't make value judgements about the periods in question, only state facts.
Really? There is no discernment in your questioning? No point of what has been conceived as something wrong concerning the past or how to implement an Established Moral Code or life? Okay, let me ask you in light of the First table and your OP, how would you deal with those who are ignorant of the First Table and you wanted to implement what it requires? What do you see as a possible means of doing such a thing? What laws or measures would you seek to perform such an obedience. I have given you my recommendations. What are yours?

I thought the Postmil position was something that was possibly feasible and all others were lacking. That sounds like judgment.
 
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