R2K Scott Clark demonstrates why I want little to do with the visible Reformed Church as a denominational Institution. This stuff is just horrid. Below I interact with some of it. Read the whole thing so you know I’m not misrepresenting the good Doctor.
R2K Scott Clark writes,
“It would help the evangelical discussion regrading church and state in the controversy over how to respond to regulations (e.g., masks, distancing, not meeting indoors etc.) to distinguish between the state’s interest in regulating things around worship, which are common to all gatherings, and regulating the substance of worship. My argument is that the state properly has an interest in the former and no business touching the latter.”
Here R2K Clark introduces the distinctions between the accidents of worship and the essentials of worship into the State’s ability to regulate worship such as are those same distinctions are made in the Regulative worship argument.
The problem is that R2K Clark is comparing apples to deodorants.
These “ministers” will try to leverage contrived distinctions till the cows come home. I’m pretty sure when the State is telling the Church it can’t gather that at that point the State is regulating the essentials of worship.
What R2K Clark will argue is that a State mandating masks in worship are a accident to worship and not a worship essential but let’s keep in mind that Gov. Newsome of California is seeking much more in California than merely insisting on masks in worship.
“We all recognize (or we did before Covid-19) that the community, as represented by civil government, has a proper interest in the general welfare of the community. Thus, I am unaware of any church that has refused to allow the fire department or the health department to perform inspections. How many churches now certify that their youth and nursery workers are not sexual offenders? How many have made mandatory staff training to prevent sexual abuse at church? Our church buildings must be built to local safety and fire codes. No one reasonably objects to such civil regulations. These are regulations around worship that are common to all associations in a decently governed society.”
This paragraph now argues that because we have allowed the State Camel’s nose under the tent with all their onerous regulations that therefore we should allow the whole State Camel to run everything the Church does.
How about if we just kick the whole damn camel, nose and all, out of our Tent? How about if we were to say that the State, in a free country, should have no control over several of the examples that R2K Clark uses to “prove” that we all agree that the State should have interest. Some of us don’t think it is the state’s business how many people should be in buildings we own or should have any input into who we do and do not hire, or should have any input into what training employers do or do not give. Some of us think that adults, have, quite apart from the State’s input, enough sense to determine these matters for themselves.
R2K Clark’s whole article presupposes a kind of Statist worldview mindset.
Secondly, on this point, what R2K Clark is calling “regulations around worship” is really a misnomer to serve his purposes. Those examples that R2K Clark give as “regulations around worship” are not really regulations that have anything to do with either the accidentals or the essentials of worship but rather should be labeled as “regulations around buildings,” or “regulations around hiring practices,” or “regulations around food servicing.” These regulations have nothing whatsoever to do with Worship proper. They don’t even have anything whatsoever to do with the accidents of Worship. At best they have to do with the accidents of the accidents of Worship. R2K Clark is really stretching here.
When an easily communicated virus breaks out, the community at large has an interest in how other members act. Church congregations are no more immune from the virus than any other gathering. Tribal arguments for a favored group (e.g., protestors or congregations) are special pleading and thus specious no matter who, whether public health officers or pastors.
First here, we don’t know that this is an easily communicated virus. R2K Clark assumes what is yet to be proven. The whole nature of this virus is heatedly disagreed upon in the epidemiology community.
Secondly, when R2K Clark says “the community at large,” understand he means the tyrant State.
Thirdly, this paragraph completely fails to take into account that the State has no Constitutional authority to shut down Churches. Clark presupposes that when the State says “jump” people (Including the Church) must take to their pogo sticks.
Read what the California State Constitution says,
(c) California must uphold the protection of religious freedom enshrined in the United States Constitution for all of its people, and the state has a moral obligation to protect its citizens from religious persecution.
Instead what the state of California is doing is pursuing religious persecution.
R2K Clark writes,
He (Paul) says that Nero has been installed by God and we have to submit to him. 1 Peter 2:17 says “honor the emperor.” Does the cheering congregation at GCC (or anywhere else for that matter) fit that description? Are they gathering together reverently, soberly, doing all that they can to meet the concerns of the civil magistrate to the best of their abilities?
So, here R2K Clark absolutizes Nero. R2K Clark makes a hatchet job of Romans 13. That has been established over and over again here on Iron Ink. It has been established by books written by puritan co-woker with John Knox, Christopher Goodman titled,
How Superior Powers Ought To Be Obeyed By Their Subjects And Wherein They May Lawfully By God’s Word Be Disobeyed And Resisted
In this book Goodman exegetes Romans 13 and shuts the mouth of people like R2K Clark who mangle God’s Word here. James Wilson does the same in his book, “Establishments and Limits of Civil Government. Wilson argues much the same way that Goodman does in exegeting Romans 13. It’s just irresponsible of Clark to constantly be appealing to his butchering of Romans 13 as being “God’s Word.”
R2K Clark fails to recognize that we only have to submit to Nero as Nero submits to God. We have no responsibility to submit to a Nero who is flouting and overturning God’s law which is what the State is doing at this time.
R2K Clark writes,
“Wearing masks, whatever one’s opinion of their efficacy, is not a demand that we sin.”
This proves that Clark is unfamiliar with the Westminster Confession where we find that wearing a mask is a sin against the 6th and 9th commandment. This has been convincingly argued and proven in previous Iron Ink entries.
R2K Clark writes,
“Further, I am concerned about the witness to the watching pagan world that this controversy gives.”
It’s all good because I’m just as concerned about the witness to the watching pagan world that R2K Clark’s “reasoning” routinely gives.
R2K Clark writes,
“As Christians we may not allow our political and cultural views to swamp our fidelity to the Word of God.”
So, we are allowed to have political and cultural views that are contrary to God’s Word?
Once again we see the common R2K trait that believe that our we may have views of politics and culture that are contrary to the Word of God that are perfectly acceptable as long as they don’t swamp our fidelity to the Word of God. This statement is a contradiction on stilts dressed in drag.