13 July 2010

Why am I talking about all this? How did I get here? Part 9

Why am I writing all these crazy things? It's a cri du coeur…….

I know the Theonomists scoff at this question, but they are wrong to do so because they read the Bible wrongly…seeing Christ through the lens of Moses. It's like looking through binoculars the wrong way making the object tiny in the distance…..

But the question is…….Where on the pages of the New Testament do you have a single command or notion from Paul, Christ, or anyone that to be citizens of the heavenly Kingdom we are to go out and either try and conquer the world through political and cultural means?

There are more than a few verses against this. There are large paradigm arguments against this, but there are no verses to support it.

Make disciples of all nations? Right, make Christians in all nations…not just Israel. Is there another verse?

Render unto Caesar?

Somehow D James Kennedy seemed to think that means we have to vote. I'm sure that's just when Jesus had in mind.

Actually that verse is a flagship, a billboard verse for Two Kingdom theology. He's showing we live in both and never shall the twain meet. Don't ever confuse them.

Why am I writing all these things?

I don't care about being labeled Reformed and I acknowledge most Reformed people today would not even call me a brother for the things I have said in this article and the others.

But I do care…a little. It was the venue under which I operated for so long…something I really cared about. And it truly grieved me to see others perverting precious doctrines. Not that it doesn't now, but I came to understand it was the factional spirit, love of tradition, of a label, of belonging that made some of those things precious to me. When I began my pilgrimage to a better fuller understanding of the Kingdom of God…..I was happy to leave those things behind.
But I still care somewhat for the Reformed world. For there is such potential there…brilliant minds that can be used of God. Sadly some of the best minds….like Lee Irons, Shepherd, and the Federal Vision men….are being run out. They're gunning for each other and the hyper-Calvinistic Baptist Monocovenantal Middle that doesn't understand it's own tradition is trying to run them all out.

Instead I often think of the page on the Monergism website…something about the Hall of Contemporary Reformers. Don't get me wrong there are some good men there but if the future of Reformed Christianity depends on men who…

Think the Word of God is an eclectic text to be determined by scholars….

Think the instruction of the church is a place to try your Christian Vegas act….

And that our authority is subject to charismatic urgings….

Think somehow God is not glorified when we suffer in doing our duty out of obligation to others and to Him rather than a self focused, self-fulfillment mindset which leads us to talk a lot about ourselves and our feelings….

Thinks that Hyper-Calvinism and Baptistic Theology is Biblical....

Think that getting rich off of the people of God is a right application of not muzzling the ox….

Think the church is a mega-corporation and treat it like one……

Allow foul mouthed fascist women to attend their church which offers Jazz services…..

Think that leading the Congress in prayer is something to boast of….

Thinks the church is the venue to have partisan political rallies, and to associate with corrupt propaganda lobbying ministries……or to put it another way…that we need more Sacralization….

Then Reformed Christianity is effectively done. If this is the future, if these men think they are by any stretch of the imagination something like Historic Reformed Christianity, then it's all over anyway. I'm not saying those men aren't Christians… I have no idea. That's not for me to say. Some of them I think have many good things to say….but if that's the future, then the state of things in the Church will only get worse.

Yes I am trying to stir the pot…I am trying to upset people. I probably won't even get anyone to read what I have written, but I have to try.

If even a few people start to think it through we might have something more than a remnant in a generation. I know we're having a resurgence of Calvinism right now…
But it's Baptistic Sacralism……..The usual American variety and flavour. Theologically things are getting worse, and the things that need to be abandoned are being retained and enhanced.

I have a vision of a Church……..not a romantic vision, it's not pretty as we might reckon it. But it was people in a hostile context, very conscious of who they were and what Kingdom they served, trying to live by the Word, not a system, and were willing to live with the consequences. That's living by Faith alone.


Marshall said...

Well stated. I am certainly encountering much of this lately in search of a place of regular worship for my family and myself. I've also wondered why the render unto Ceaser stopped with the congregant, and didn't extend to the "church". (smiles)......

Protoprotestant said...

That's a good point. I hadn't thought of it quite that way...but it's logical. If that's how they want to define rendering unto Caesar, then certainly the Church would also have a duty unto Caesar as part of its Holy mission.

I guess it's not a problem when you think Caesar helps the Church build the Kingdom.

Marshall said...

Further I would say that the church is then in sin. If the U.S. and it's military are going to help usher in the days of wine and roses, then the church should be paying taxes. By not paying taxes, they are depriving the government of millions in much needed monies to further it's "christian" values and goals.
Tongue firmly planted in cheek.........

Protoprotestant said...

The Church should be happy to pay taxes or as some would have it...the State should subsidize the Church.

That's how it played out in Europe. Many of the 'ministers' in state churches are first and foremost government employees.

What a mess when you start getting into laws concerning discrimination or whatever that contradict the church's message.

Guess who wins? The one's holding the purse strings.

Of course in the United States when Congregations incorporate and become 501c non-profits they are according to the IRS...corporations and now the IRS tells the Church how to structure itself, you need a board and bylaws etc... In Presby circles the elders fulfill that requirement and the Book of Church Order works as the bylaws.

In Baptist circles they'll have their Deacons (which are really elders in the Biblical sense) but since the Board of Trustees isn't Biblical anyway they have no problem appointing Mrs. Smith and Jones to the Board of Trustees.

Uncle Sam is telling the Church how to structure itself. Why aren't alarm bells going off?

I think I'll suggest tomorrow that we take up an offering for the Department of Defense. Last Sunday was Missions week. This Sunday is Emergency Fund. I think next week should be Predator Drone week. What do you think? Those handy little machines are helping build the kingdom right?

How about lobbyist week in March? Oh, I guess most churches already do that....every week.