Calvin on Social Hierarchy and Inequality as Christian Doctrines II

“Regarding our eternal salvation it is true that one must not distinguish between man and woman, or between king and a shepherd, or between a German and a Frenchman. Regard policy however, we have what St. Paul declares here; for our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to mix up nature, or to abolish what belongs to the preservation of decency and peace among us….Regarding the kingdom of God (which is spiritual) there is no distinction or difference between man and woman, servant and master, poor and rich, great and small. Nevertheless, there does have to be some order among us, and Jesus Christ did not mean to eliminate it, as some flighty and scatterbrained dreamers [believe].”

John Calvin — Sermon on 1 Corinthians 11:2-3

Every one who goes beyond the limits of his calling provokes the wrath of God against himself by his rashness. Let every one therefore be satisfied with his lot, and learn not to aim at anything higher, but, on the contrary, to remain in his own rank in which God has placed him. If God stretch out his hand, and lift us up higher, we ought to go forward; but no one ought to take it on himself, or to strive for it from his own choice. And even those who are raised to a higher rank of honor ought to conduct themselves humbly and submissively, not with any pretended modesty, but with minds so thoroughly depressed that nothing can lift them up.”

John Calvin
In comments on Isaiah 14.13

It is the Lord’s peculiar work to divide people into their respective ranks, distinguishing one from another, as seemeth good to him, all men being on a level by nature.

John Calvin
On Psalm 87

Now we know for what end God would have rank and dignity to exist among men, and that is, that there might be something like a bridle to restrain the waywardness of the multitude.

John Calvin
Lecture 26 on Hosea

Since Isaiah reckons this confusion among the curses of God, and declares that, when the distinction of ranks is laid aside, it is a terrible display of the vengeance of God, we ought to conclude, on the other hand, how much God is pleased with regular government and the good order of society, and also how great a privilege it is to have it preserved among us; for when it is taken away, the life of man differs little from the sustenance of cattle and of beasts of prey.

John Calvin
On Isaiah 24:2

Meanwhile, the political distinction of ranks is not to be repudiated, for natural reason itself dictates this in order to take away confusion.

John Calvin
On Numbers 3:5

Christian History and its Consistent Stance on Hierarchy and Social Inequality as being Biblical

Over here,

Quotes on Social Inequality from the Protestant Tradition

There is a list of quotes that demonstrate that Christianity had never taught the Cultural Marxist doctrine of social equality. I am going to take a quote or two or three every day from this site and post the quote here. The idea of egalitarianism needs to be beaten, bruised and bloodied until it dies a violent death. If the idea of social equality (modern egalitarianism) is not killed it will kill the Church and us as a people.

Elsewhere, I have posted a slew of quotes that demonstrate that Christians throughout history have believed in distinctions between peoples and nations.

So Say We All … A Protest To Dr. Sproul 2.0’s Comments

Also, elsewhere I have posted several times where I have provided quotes that reveal that it is the Marxists and Cultural Marxists who have always desired social equality and social order egalitarianism.

These quotes I am providing in the next few days would provide a more general category under which the quotes I have provided earlier would exist as a subpoint under the general category.

Augustine (354 – 430)

Peace between man and man is well-ordered concord. Domestic peace is the well-ordered concord between those of the family who rule and those who obey. Civil peace is a similar concord among the citizens. The peace of the celestial city is the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God, and of one another in God. The peace of all things is the tranquility of order. Order is the distribution which allots things equal and unequal, each to its own place.  (City of God xix.13)

Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274):

Under the question “Whether in the state of innocence man would have been master over man?,” he writes (Summa Theologica 1.96.4):

But a man is the master of a free subject, by directing him either towards his proper welfare, or to the common good. Such a kind of mastership would have existed in the state of innocence between man and man, for two reasons.

First, because man is naturally a social being, and so in the state of innocence he would have led a social life. Now a social life cannot exist among a number of people unless under the presidency of one to look after the common good; for many, as such, seek many things, whereas one attends only to one. Wherefore the Philosopher says, in the beginning of the Politics, that wherever many things are directed to one, we shall always find one at the head directing them.

Secondly, if one man surpassed another in knowledge and virtue, this would not have been fitting unless these gifts conduced to the benefit of others, according to 1 Peter 4:10, “As every man hath received grace, ministering the same one to another.” Wherefore Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix, 14): “Just men command not by the love of domineering, but by the service of counsel”: and (De Civ. Dei xix, 15): “The natural order of things requires this; and thus did God make man.”

For the question, “Whether men were equal in the state of innocence?” he writes:

Equality is the cause of equality in mutual love. Yet between those who are unequal there can be a greater love than between equals; although there be not an equal response: for a father naturally loves his son more than a brother loves his brother; although the son does not love his father as much as he is loved by him.

The cause of inequality could be on the part of God; not indeed that He would punish some and reward others, but that He would exalt some above others; so that the beauty of order would the more shine forth among men. Inequality might also arise on the part of nature as above described, without any defect of nature.

A properly ordered hierarchical social order has greater beauty than a collection of equals. This is consistent with Aquinas’s view that “divine goodness” is communicated “more perfectly” by “diverse things” (Summa Contra Gentiles , III, 97)

God, through His providence, orders all things to divine goodness as to an end; not however in such a manner that His goodness increases through those things which come to be, but so that a likeness of His goodness is imprinted in things insofar as it is possible, for indeed it is necessary that every created substance fall short of divine goodness, so that in order for divine goodness to be communicated to things more perfectly, it was necessary for there to be diversity in things, so that what is not able to be perfectly represented by some one [thing] is represented in a more perfect manner through diverse things in diverse ways.

The Implications of Biblical Election When Thinking About Social Order Issues

“There are doctrines of modern liberalism, just as tenaciously and intolerantly upheld as any doctrines that find a place in the historic creeds. Such for example are the liberal doctrines of the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man. These doctrines are, as we shall see, contrary to the doctrines of the Christian religion. But doctrines they are all the same, and as such, they require intellectual defense. In seeming to object to all theology, the liberal preacher is often merely objecting to one system of theology in the interests of another.”

Dr. J. Gresham Machen 
Christianity and Liberalism

Our current Cultural Marxist egalitarianism problem in the Western Calvinist Churches is a reflection of the decline of genuinely Reformed soteriology. Biblical and Historical Calvinism has always advocated for limited damnation (particular redemption), where Christ is put forth as a sacrifice for only His people. God makes distinctions when it comes to salvation and men are not equal when it comes to their determined soteric status.

In the Reformed (Biblical) understanding God’s chief passion is Himself. In the Reformed (Biblical) understanding God does all He does for His own interest. He pursues His own interests and in the context of particular redemption, this means He willfully limits His affections to His people.

Reformed folk once understood that this had implications. As God’s love was particular so Reformed folk refused both the idea of “the Father of God over all men,” and “the Brotherhood of all men.” If God restricts His love so that His love is particular so man’s love can be particular as well. In other words, God’s love and favor for His own is a communicable attribute. Like God, men can love and favor their own.

If it were the case that God did not restrict His love so that He loved all men indiscriminately then men by necessity would have to be pluralists in their affections and love all men indiscriminately and so egalitarianism would by necessity be a Christian requirement. Because of our inability to tease out the idea of God’s discriminating election we are seeing that the idea of the brotherhood of all men, when taken to its egalitarian conclusion, would be destructive of the idea of men providing uniquely for their own household (I Tim. 5:8), or positing a special love for their kin (cmp. Romans 9:3). In brief, the Arminian idea that God loves everybody equally works itself out in the destruction of family, clan, and nations and the embrace of universal love.

The connection here is that as Calvinists become weak on Limited Damnation they become strong on the Liberal Doctrines of the “Fatherhood of God over all men,” and “the Brotherhood of all men.”

In this context, it is interesting that Abraham Kuyper noted that in the late 1800s the belief in Unconditional Election with respect to natural conditions like family, nation, and race was universal in every denomination, though Arminians disagreed with Election of the Soul.  Listen to the great Kuyper on this matter,

“ Before I close, I feel nevertheless that one question continues to press for an answer, which accordingly I shall not refuse to face, the question namely, at what I am aiming in the end: at the abandonment of the doctrine of election … Our generation turns a deaf ear to Election [God’s order], but grows madly enthusiastic over Selection [encompassing everything from evolution to democracy, liberalism, imagination, and license] … The problem concerns the fundamental question: Whence are the differences? Why is not all alike? Whence is it that one thing exists in one state, another in another? There is no life without differentiation without inequality. The perception of difference, the very source of our human consciousness, the causative principles of all that exists, and grows and develops, in short, the mainspring of all life and thought … Whence are those differences? Whence is the dissimilarity, the heterogeneity of existence, of genesis, and consciousness? To put it concretely, if you were a plant, would you rather be a rose than a mushroom; if insect, butterfly rather than spider; if bird, eagle rather than owl; if a higher vertebrate, a lion rather than a hyena; and again, being a man, richer than poorer, talented rather than dull-minded, of Aryan race rather than Hottentot or Kaffir? Between all these there is differentiation, wide differentiation. Everywhere then differences, differences between one thing and the other; and that too, such differences involve in almost every instance, preference … This is the one supreme question in the vegetable and animal kingdom, among men, in all social life and it is by means of the theory of Selection that our present age attempts to solve this problem of problems …

Now the blade of grass is not conscious of this, and the spider goes on entrapping the fly, the tiger killing the stag, and in those cases, the weaker being does not account to itself for its misery. But we men are clearly conscious of these differences, and by us therefore the question cannot be evaded, whether the theory of Selection be a solution calculated to reconcile the weaker, the less richly endowed creature, with its existence. It will be acknowledged that in itself this theory can but incite to a more furious struggle, with a lasciate ogni speranza, voi che’ntrate for the weaker being. Against the ordinance of faith that the weaker shall succumb to the stronger, according to the system of election, no struggle can avail …

For this is precisely the high significance of the doctrine of Election that, in this dogma, as long as three centuries ago, Calvinism dared to face this same all-dominating problem, solving it, however, not in the sense of a blind selection stirring in unconscious cells, but honoring the sovereign choice of Him Who created all things visible and invisible. The determination of our own persons, whether one is to be born as girl or boy, rich or poor, dull or clever, white or colored, or even as Abel or Cain, is the most tremendous predestination conceivable in heaven or on earth; and still we see it taking place before our eyes every day, and we ourselves are subject to it in our entire personality; our existence, our very nature, our position in life being entirely dependent on it. This all embracing predestination … all-dominating election. Election in creation, election in Providence, and so election also to eternal life; election in the realm of grace as well as in the realm of nature … all Christians hold election as we do, in honor, both in creation and in providence; and that Calvinism deviates from the other Christian confessions in this respect only, that, seeking unity and placing the glory God above all things, it dares to extend the mystery of Election to spiritual life, and to the hope for all life to come?”

(A.Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism, pp.117-119)

Now that many Arminians have been smitten with the egalitarian infection, they’re just being consistent with their soteriology as it works itself out in social order thinking. Arminians denied election in terms of grace and now they deny election in terms of nature. In order for the Calvinists to turn egalitarian, however, they have to be radically inconsistent with their soteriology. Most Calvinists and Calvinist churches still confess Election with respect to God’s differentiation among men and so the unequal states of their persons as it pertains to salvation before God, but many Reformed are no longer sure about unequal states of nature. That is to say many Calvinists can no longer affirm an Election (Predestination) which affirms that not only does God elect some and not others in regards to salvation, but also that God predestines some people and peoples to an unequal status as compared to His predestinating of other people and peoples. Does this contradiction between what we might call spiritual inequality as taught in the doctrine of election and natural inequality as implied in the doctrine of predestination (and so a necessary denial of the foundational tenets of modern egalitarianism) perhaps hint at the idea that many Reformed don’t understand the implications of their Calvinism?

Certainly, everyone agrees that men are all brothers in the sense that all men are created by God and that all men thus are the image of God. Likewise, everyone can agree that all men are brothers in the sense that all men are responsible to God’s law. This is gladly conceded. However, all men are not brothers in the sense of having God as their redemptive Father.  That fact that God makes distinctions among men has impact all the way down the line of our thinking.

Christianity as Culture … Culture as Theology Incarnated

“Van Drunen’s juxtaposition of ‘Christianity and culture’ suggest that we can first look at Christianity and cultural separately, and then decide whether there is any connection between the two and if so what this might be.”

Willem J. Ouweneel 
The World is Christ’s; A Critique of (Radical) Two Kingdom Theology — pg. 70

This is a simple yet brilliant insight. Neither Christianity nor culture comes to us as disembodied abstracted gnostic realities. Even with Christianity it comes to us as embodied in cultural trappings, be those trappings, denominations, congregations, Bible Colleges, Seminaries, or just one on one discipleship. Christianity thus can’t be abstracted from a culture carrier.  There is no Christianity that can be known apart from some cultural delivery system. Culture likewise is not an inert something that can be dissected apart from the theological respiration system that gives it life. Culture is animated by the theological afflatus of some God, gods or god concept.

To say we can have Christianity without culture is like saying we can have a wedding without a bride. To say we can have culture without a religious impulse is like saying we can have “Charlie McCarthy” without an Edgar Bergen.

And to say we should have culture without Christianity is to say the Kingship of Christ is null and void and is to favor the Kingship of another God in treason against Christ.

“On Out ‘Enemying’ the Enemy” part II

“When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.”

Deuteronomy 18:9

“Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men.”

Proverbs 14:4

My last column by this name generated some conversation and so I wanted to return and clarify some matters.

When I say that we do not want to become the enemy in order to defeat the enemy I am not saying we should just hold prayer meetings. Anybody who knows me knows that pietism is not my cup of tea. I’m not opposed to prayer meetings but I do not believe that prayer meetings are the only strategy to use in order to defeat the Cultural Marxists.

In terms of methodologies to avoid I was mainly referring to embracing the kind of outright lying, and deception, like the Cultural Marxists, engages in order to advance their agenda. The leadership of the Cultural Marxists knows very well that their propaganda is just sophisticated lying. They know the narrative that they are trying to create is not the on the ground reality.

Having said that I have no problem with Christians using a counter- propaganda that is in service of overturning false propaganda and is committed to telling the truth. Personally, I don’t even consider this “propaganda” but I understand that the enemies of the Christian faith would call this propaganda because it is contrary to their propaganda.

Christians don’t need the kind of propaganda that would be advancing lies. Christian do need the kind of propaganda that would be deconstructing the false narratives of the Mephistopheles propaganda. Those who use propaganda as a means to create a false reality are of their Father the Devil and those propagandists when they propagandize they speak the native language of their Father.

A Christian propagandist believes the Russian proverb, “One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.” Christians don’t need to rely on deception, misdirection or spin. All they need to do is tell the truth. Telling the truth can happen in many ways. It can happen in the context of a logical well structured rational argument but let’s face it… in the age of social engineering and sociological techniques logical and well-structured arguments are typically not going to get it done. We live in an age where thinking is defined by keeping your cattle nose in the arse of the cow in front of him who is keeping his nose in the arse of the cow in front of him, ad infinitum. As such, logical well-structured arguments are often useless. As such Christians must present the truth in other more emotive ways. Pictures and/or videos are now more often than not are the way to present truth. For example, pictures of castles and beautiful European women juxtaposed with chaos and the ugliness of the inner city as created by the third world immavasion can be considered Christian propaganda. These kinds of methodologies, as they communicate truth, need to be used by Christians.

Another propaganda technique that can and should be used is that of ridiculing the enemy. Saul Alinsky in his “Rules for Radicals,” wrote,

“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

Alinsky was a Christ hater but as he stole this principle from the Christian Sfaith to begin with it can be safely stolen back. So, faithful propaganda can and should ridicule the enemy just as Elijah ridiculed the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel, just as Amos ridiculed the women of Northern Israel calling them, “Cows of Bashan,” just as Jesus ridiculed His enemies “white washed sepulchers full of dead men’s bones,” just as Paul ridiculed his enemies by wishing they would go all the way and emasculate themselves. Ridicule is seen everywhere in Scripture and it should be a common usage by Christians in order to deconstruct the lies of the enemy.  By way of ridicule, in a time of nearly universal deceit, we can be those telling the truth as a counter-revolutionary act.

So, Scripture does not allow us to out enemy the enemy, thus becoming the enemy, but Scripture does allow us to use one word of truth in whatever way delivered to outweigh the whole world of lies.


Recently I was asked if I could name an example from history where seeking to out enemy-ing the enemy led to someone become the enemy they had vowed to fight.

Well, clearly Robert E. Lee was aware of that possiblity as is seen in his Gettysburgh Order to the Southern troops. Robert E. Lee told his troops during that invasion,

“no greater disgrace could befall the army,” or discredit the Confederate cause, “than the perpetuation of the barbarous outrages upon the unarmed and defenceless [sic] and the wanton destruction of private property that have marked the course of the enemy in our own country.”

Lee here is warning his troops not to be so embittered by the enemy’s techniques that they become the enemy by employing the very same techniques.

Secondly, on this score, we have the explicit word of God, as cited at the beginning, that his people were not to become like the enemy.

There is no promise in out enemy-ing the enemy. To do such always ends in defeat.