Why is Antinomianism so rampant in broad evangelicism

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Blue Tick, Aug 4, 2009.

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  1. DanMcCormack

    DanMcCormack Puritan Board Freshman

    Good thing the Presbytery didn't catch Saul prior to his conversion:

    1 Timothy 1:13: "...though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But a I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief...."
  2. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Obviously antinomianism is as old as humanity itself. But, I agree with Adam that the broad accepted antinomianism (and it is much more than 2nd commandment violations) in our day is directly tied to the importation and influence of German Textual/Theological Liberalism. I'd like to add to that the influence of the Enlightenment, which is present both in and outside of the German stream.

    That German liberalism of the 19th century is at the root of much of the problems we see in the American church.
  3. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis


    I again recommend Ridderbos' Paul: An Outline of His Theology to read more about this subject. Dr. Gamble at RPTS received his Doctorate from the University of Basel and would tell us some pretty horrific stories of the roots of German Theology. Also do not forget J. Gresham Machen was almost sucked into the anti-christian German school.
  4. dr_parsley

    dr_parsley Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for that - I was beginning to think I was exceeding strange! It's right now on PB that I am discovering that some people think images of Jesus are sinful. This is a new thought to me. Of course I've never liked images of Jesus and I wouldn't worship if there was an image involved whether it's of Jesus or a random background to song words on a data projector. But I'd always been of the opinion that Jesus is Himself the image of the invisible God; He is the image that all the other images were NOT and were hence sinful. A picture of Jesus therefore is a (childish) representation of a true image of God and hardly in the same league as using an image to twist reception of the true image in Jesus Christ.

    I've never really thought about images of Jesus too much. Now that I do I suppose I find them bizarre considering we have (next to) no idea what Jesus looked like, and I wonder (not very charitably) about the people who make them, but as to considering it to be grave and open sin ... that seems bizarrely harsh. We know from archaeology that they were doing it very early in the church - are there any church fathers railing against it? Tell me to shut up if this is one of those non-debatable things!
  5. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    It's not that I disagree that modernism and a whole host of other ills have contributed to the dissolution of Churches and the way the Scriptures are taught. They have.

    At the level of the person, however, we have to step away from the movements and ask why am I against God's Law. The irony is that it is very often the party that wants to get back to the "Law" that ends up being antinomian in its own way because it supplants the righteousness of the Law with external requirements.

    If this discussion is simply limited to trends as to why historical theology is antinomian then that's one thing. I think we also need to recognize, within our own members, how our flesh is against the Law of God and not be too zealous in assuming antinomianism is the other guy's problem and not our own.
  6. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    In the forthcoming issue of The Confessional Presbyterian journal, David VanDrunen will be tackling this topic. It is very good in my opinion.
    Pictures of Jesus and the Sovereignty of Divine Revelation: Recent Literature and a Defense of the Confessional Reformed View. :up:
    Subscribe for 2009 here (see also the special on back issues):
    Subscriptions/Store | The Confessional Presbyterian
    The issue is also tackling other controversial Westminster Confession topics such as Sabbath recreation, and the judicial law.

  7. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Oh, I agree wholeheartedly with the ultimate root of antinomianism being in the heart of the individual. None of us are beyond the deadly influence of our fallen selves. What I am positing in the post above is the system that has influenced the organised church, which is to be a means of influence pointing to the Law and Grace of God. When the organised leadership and confessions of the church are modified by wrong thinking put into action then the baseline of account is moved. This does not excuse the individual, but it also can serve to blind him to what the Law and Gospel are and what they serve.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  8. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    It seems like this thread is doing much to attack symptoms rather than the root. What leads to antinomianism? Joshua, in his concise answer, nailed it. James applied it and later Rich explained it. We are born sinners and desire to do what is right in our own eyes. Of course we need to study the ebb and flow of how the current trends developed. But what it comes down to is that man wants God on his own terms rather than coming to God on His terms. It really can be broken down to this basic though -- and they did what was right in their own eyes...
  9. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    I think you misinterpret the rules here. I think questions are understandable and I appreciate your post.

    It's all in how we couch things and understand them. There are a number of things that are sinful that God deals with patiently for the ignorant and going astray. Were it not so we would all be consumed. I think we all need to learn to be patient for those that are doing some things out of ignorance rather than understanding the intent of the Law and willfully snubbing the nose at it.

    There's a reason why teachers are held to a higher standard. This thread has discussed how theological movements have variously led to the impoverishment of the whole Church's understanding of something. Consequently, it is incumbent upon men who guard the sheepfold to protect the Church from the introduction of error and calling it what it is because by the time it gets ensconced, the average person is simply doing what he's always done.

    If you read Amos, for instance, think about how the average Joe in Israel thought about his worship. He had all the rites and rituals that he had learned from his family and his reaction was probably: "How can you refer so harshly to our worship practices?" Well, because they were sinful and harmful. It doesn't mean that everybody who practiced them was willfully sinful but it did call them for what they were in the eyes of God.

    In one sense, then, even though we're not the Church here, we're very careful to guard what is advocated theologically here. It's not a free for all for a reason. It's not that we'll shut down any questions about particular subjects but that we don't want the answers to questions coming from heterodox angles and contributing to the furtherance of some being led astray into error.
  10. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor

    Would you do me the favor of answering the question?

    Paul stated, at his heresy trial, that if he had done anything worthy of death, he would gladly be executed. His contention was not that the trial was illegitimate, but that he was orthodox.

  11. cih1355

    cih1355 Puritan Board Junior

    Some people believe that if one of God's commandments in the Old Testament is not repeated in the New Testament then that commandment has been abrogated.
  12. DanMcCormack

    DanMcCormack Puritan Board Freshman

    The State is not "Christian" and the church does not bear the sword.

    Thus the answer is "no."
  13. Southern Twang

    Southern Twang Puritan Board Freshman

    The State is not "Christian"???? Well yeah, not the one we live in here in America, but it should be Christian. In fact, the State is a minister of God (Romans 13:4).

    Don't fall for the myth of neutrality. Either the State will submit to God or it will submit to Satan.
  14. DanMcCormack

    DanMcCormack Puritan Board Freshman

    That's reductionist.

    The State is a minister of God -- but it may be a foil for God's work (see Pharoah).
  15. Knoxienne

    Knoxienne Puritan Board Graduate

    And a minister of God is to follow God's orders, not their own. God created the civil sphere as His deacon. It is his servant. That's what it means when it says there is no authority, but from God. We're supposed to obey that godly authority. That's the meaning of Romans 13 - not that any and all governments are free to do whatever the heck they want anytime they want and Christians have to put up with it. That's a Hegelian interpretation (Government is God walking on earth) and it's dead wrong.
  16. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    Let's keep to the opening post, folks. The thread is about antinomianism; not the magistrate. Also, let's all remember that this is a reformed board; and that even in the modern versions of the WCF and Belgic, church and state are not separated in hermetically sealed cases.
  17. DanMcCormack

    DanMcCormack Puritan Board Freshman

    So the American Revolution was not justified?

    When Government supports/sponsors/advocates/subsidizes abortion, is the government "ministering?"
  18. sealdaSupralapsarian

    sealdaSupralapsarian Puritan Board Freshman


    A reason for Anti-nomianism is definately that the Catholics changed the 10 commandments....LOL.... Just utter blasphemy.

    Also, I believe people have a poor view of the Sabbath day. My reason for saying that is b/c people work for their rest. But that's another subject.

    Eitherway, I believe in the model unless modified code of understanding what Laws are to continued to be adhered to. Acts 15 is a good place to start and then we are to build on that from the Apostle's usage of the Law.

    Paul clearly says that the Law is good if it is used rightly or justly. I don't believe people can be judged or condemned for not keeping festivals, holy days, or Sabbaths. But I do believe they can be condemned for adultery, murder, and utter Blasphemy...ie saying you are God.

    We must seperate the Church from the State but Both are under the direct responsibility to uphold God's Law.

    But Anti-nomians are definately running rampant in the Presbytery and Klinians are everywhere.

    Grace and Peace,
  19. Knoxienne

    Knoxienne Puritan Board Graduate

    Yes, it was justified. But in my opinion, it was not a revolution, because it wasn't a rebellion. And no the government is not ministering with legalized child murder. We are not in disagreement here. Government is to uphold God's law - not man's - that's what I was saying.

    Thank you, Prufock for your admonition. I just wanted to answer Dan.
  20. VilnaGaon

    VilnaGaon Puritan Board Sophomore

    I blame primarily dispensationalism in all its forms and guises. By separating Israel and the Church, the Law of God has been dismissed as belonging to the Jews and no longer relevant to us.
    I ask all PBers
    How many commentaries on the OT especially the Torah are in print today? I am not refering to fluffy ""study guides"", but rather to good scholarly volumes?
    Answer --- Very few compared with the number of NT commentaries available. I often have to refer to classic Rabbinic commentaries when studying the Torah for the lack of good Christian ones.
  21. DanMcCormack

    DanMcCormack Puritan Board Freshman

    Well, the British government in power at the time certainly considered the revolution a "rebellion."

    I agree that Government should uphold God's law -- but even Theocratic, pre-king Israel failed miserably.

    Given the attention any government gives God's Law, I won't be voting to give it power to execute blasphemers anytime soon.
  22. sealdaSupralapsarian

    sealdaSupralapsarian Puritan Board Freshman

    I would like to add that Dispensationalism is certainly a direct result of Lawlessness.

    Grace and Peace,
  23. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Read Acts 20. Antinomianism might be a subset of the stuff that rises up.:2cents:
  24. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Last Moderator Warning.

    Next one to post outside of the OP will be infracted and eliminated from the thread.
  25. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    John, there have been some excellent answers given, though the Dispensational cracks show a lack of historical accuracy and theological understanding. Let me add this as well: Could it not be a result of dumbing down over the past century in combination with shallow teaching. Evangellyfishism has certainly embraced a feelings oriented perspective of Christianity; almost reminiscent of the 60s slogan, "if it feels good, do it." We also have rampant RCC depictions that elicit good feelings among many. My son got a painting of "Jesus" for their wedding, from a Catholic relative of the bride.

    All of these things conspire against us and keep us from seeing the true nature of God clearly. We see Him according to our reasoning rather than as He is revealed in Scripture simply because we're satisfied with the morsel we get on Sundays, giving to the work of God and saying our prayers before every meal. The idea of dying to self, crucifying the flesh and putting off the old man are nice slogans depicting salvation rather than sanctification. After all, we're in, so what's to worry about?

    This is why I said, "they did what was right in their own eyes" earlier. Man is desperately wicked. His righteousnesses are as filth rags. Considering the fallen condition of man and the incredible indictments of Romans 1 I think our surprise should be in the other direction. We should EXPECT men to blaspheme God. We should expect them to dishonor Him. We should expect Him to worship their way rather than God's. And, when they don't; when they stand on Scripture; when they actually live like they love God more than anything else and truly desire to know Him as revealed in Scripture, we should be amazed; for we behold a miracle.
  26. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Care to expand on this? Or should I just respond in kind, with a statement that it is the dispensational system that show a lack of historical accuracy and theological understanding.
  27. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor

    May I respond to your previous post to me?

  28. pm

    pm Puritan Board Freshman

    Please elaborate?
  29. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    The problem with this answer is then why do some people go towards legalism instead of antinomianism? Sin does lead to bad beliefs etc. but there is still a reason why certain bad beliefs are held instead of other bad beliefs.


    -----Added 8/6/2009 at 06:58:04 EST-----

    I also think that a big problem with people "staying on topic" is that we do not have an ironed out definition of antinominianism.
  30. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

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