Continuing to Fisk Dr. Andrew Walker’s hit piece on Theonomy posted on “The Godless Coalition.”
The allure of moral, religious, and cultural uniformity cannot come at the expense of religious freedom. A baseline of religious liberty is essential. Unless all religions receive equal recognition under the law, one religious group will set whatever exacting standards it desires as the basis of membership and participation in society.
1.) Here we are introduced to Walker’s God. Walker’s God is the humanist notion of religious liberty. Per Walker religious liberty is a higher god than the God of the Bible and His Law-Word. Per Walker, we must serve the god of humanist religious liberty as opposed to serving God.
2.) Note that Walker himself, even if he gets his way on humanist religious liberty has not avoided the moral, religious, and cultural uniformity that he decries. In Walker’s social order there is moral, religious, and cultural uniformity inasmuch as all other gods must bow to the state god who disallows anyone God (including the God of the Bible) from being a God above the state God who demands humanist religious liberty. Per Walker, all the gods must be governed in the uniform moral, religious, and cultural realm by the State God to make sure that none of them replaces the State God thus providing a different uniform moral, religious and cultural social order than offered by Walker’s State God.
3.) We don’t have religious liberty right now. The God of the Bible is not at liberty to be God over all other gods. That is not religious liberty.
4.) Understand that what Walker desires is that Allah, the Jewish Talmud God, Confucius, Buddha be given equal recognition by Christians as the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible per Walker and the Godless Coalition cannot (must not) be lifted higher and seen as superior to the pagan gods. How can a Christian say such a thing without being rightly labeled as a treasonous bastard to the Crown Rights of King Jesus?
5.) Finally, remember we already have the exacting standards of one God lifted above all other gods. We currently have the God-State in the name of humanist “religious liberty” exacting on us his diabolical standards. In the name of religious liberty, abortion is pursued, sodomites can enter into marriage, boys can enter the girl’s locker rooms, and boys can compete against girls in girls’ sports. Talk about an exacting standard.
Whether Catholic versus Protestant or Protestant versus other Protestant, one group is always tempted to exclude based on some religious criteria. As a Protestant, I shudder thinking about many of John Calvin and Martin Luther’s attitudes toward the state’s involvement in religion. Baptists did not fare well as religious minorities under the reign of church-state union, and I have no longing to return.
1.) Walker can’t see that all Christians are right now being excluded based on the religious criteria of humanism? Walker can’t see that as the sodomite comes out of the closet the Christian is the one being pushed back into the closet? Christians are being excluded from being able to say “no” to sodomites who want a Wedding cake baked for them, or photos of their God-forsaken weddings taken, or flowers provided for their gross nuptials. Christians are right now on the edge of being told that in their churches they are required to hire sodomites, catamites, and other assorted perverts… all in the name of the humanist god Walker desires to be ensconced as God. Is this man daft that he can’t see all this?
2.) Now you can understand why Baptists were treated the way they were treated. Baptists with their foul humanist religious liberty doctrine are the ones who have opened the door to all the perversion that I have listed above. It is Baptists who have brought us to the place we are by their bone-headed doctrine of humanist religious liberty. Walker would prefer a godless social order than a social order where the God of the Bible is prioritized above all gods. As a Protestant, I shudder at Baptists like Walker continuing to support an idea that has taken Biblical Christians and put them on an equal footing with perverts and anti-Christs. God raises up a Calvin or a Luther or even a Knox to put an end to pestilent thinking like Walkers.
Theonomy is right to criticize our society’s lawlessness. But the alternative it proposes presupposes a Christian society that does not exist and, where it once did, did not contain the theological coherence to perpetuate itself.
It is Walker’s presuppositions that are skewed. What else can we propose as God’s people except for a return to God’s Law-Word? Would Walker propose being ruled by some other god and His Law-Word?
1.) Walker seemingly desires some neutral social order. But neutrality and religious liberty are a myth. They don’t exist. There is never a culture that exists that doesn’t descend from and isn’t an expression of some God or god concept. Walker seems to think we can have a culture where all the gods are welcome but fails to see that in that kind of culture there has to be some authority somewhere to make sure none of these gods get out of line. Some authority has to be present to make sure all these gods remain equal. Where ever that authority lies, Walker misses, is the god over the gods. In our setting that is the state.
2.) And of course, with people like Walker, it is not possible to reach theological coherence for a Christian culture. The lack of ability to perpetuate Christian culture lies at the feet of the Anabaptist (paging Roger Williams) and the Anabaptists are the intellectual forbears of Walker’s humanist religious liberty.
Be careful to understand what I am saying here. I am saying that Walker can bleat for humanist religious liberty all he wants but such a beast is not possible. This concept of religious liberty only worked here as long as it did because the country was salted for so long with Biblical Christians. But now that what passes as Christianity is now being trodden underfoot (thanks to people like Walker) the false mask that “religious liberty” always wore is being torn off.
And if Theonomy is right and history is working toward the telos of a Christianized society, why does precisely the opposite seem to be the case? Is Christ’s church less faithful because Western culture is increasingly pagan? What if the Lord uses difficult moments to prune? What results from a reciprocating relationship between church and state, however, is the husk of civil religion and the kernel of saving faith instrumentalized for cultural cohesion.
1.) Question #1 – Because God’s people, like Walker, are in rebellion to God’s Law-Word and the implementation thereof. If people won’t champion “No God, But God,” if people won’t champion God’s Law Word for the civil sphere, if people want to champion the presence of every false god as being equal to the God of the Bible for the civil sphere how can we be surprised for a second that a Christianized society is always out of reach?
2.) Question #2 – Christ Church is less faithful where Christ’s Church advocates that all gods be treated equally thus disallowing the God of the Bible to be the God of the 1st commandment.
3.) Question #3 – Invoking the Lord’s pruning to justify our disobedience is odd logic.
4.) We have the civil religion we have now precisely because Biblical religion has not been allowed to flex its muscle thanks to people like Walker. Saving faith that is not expressed in the public square is a saving faith of the most immature variety.
5.) Notice the lack of cultural cohesion that we have now is directly related to the current lack of faith of Biblical Christians who are too fearful to champion God’s Law-Word for the public square.
That promise was called a seed.
Ever since then fallen man has sought to return to the garden in his own power — his timeless quest for Utopia. But only God can provide our desire for the garden.
Israel never forgot its garden origins. It carried a garden Tabernacle through its desert journey. Israel finally arrived in a garden land flowing with milk and honey and later when they built a Temple to replace the Tabernacle the garden motif was everywhere in the Temple. The Priests of Israel were adorned in garden garments, complete with the precious stones of Eden’s garden woven into the garments.
When the Lord Christ arrived He met his greatest temptation in a garden. In that Gethsemane garden, Jesus refused what Adam embraced when Adam was in his garden.
The Lord Christ as the promised seed died by a garden that He was eventually planted in, only to spring up from that garden and mistaken for a gardener.
From a garden, we came and unto a garden, we return in that New Jerusalem garden. There we find that the leaves of the trees in that garden are for the healing of the nations.
Men like Doug Wilson, Ken Hamm, Voddie Baucham, David Van Drunnen, James White, and others advertise themselves as against the cultural Marxist push and in some respects they are. However, their insistence that race is a social construct or that race doesn’t exist is testimony that they have not yet cleansed themselves of cultural Marxist (Franz Boas) influences.
Now, certainly, we might say there are some aspects of race in terms of how it manifests itself in cultural expression that may well be attributed to social constructs but to say that race doesn’t exist or is a social construct is to testify as to one’s “Mad Hatter” status.
Below are a few quotes culled from Thomas Achord’s and Darrel Dow’s pleasing book, “Who is My Neighbor; An Anthology in Natural Relations.”
Study finds disparity in mental health of biracial Asian-Americans
Lauren Berger — 2008
“Bi-racial Americans of Asian and white descent are twice as likely to be diagnosed with a psychological disorder compared to monoracial Asians Americans, according to a new study from the Asian American Center on Disparities Research at UC Davis.”
Asian White Couples face distinct pregnancy risks
Yasser El-Sayed 2008
Racial distinctions in the genes controlling bone marrow production have made it difficult for MIXED RACE INDIVIDUALS to find matching donors for bone marrow transplants, according to the National Marrow Donor program.
Asian White Couples face distinct pregnancy risks
Yasser El-Sayed 2008
Health and Behavior Risks of Adolescents with Mixed Race Identity
J. Richard Udry
Thomas Achord & Darryl Dow
Continuing with my fisking of this Godless Coalition article,
Dr. Andy Walker (AW) writes,
What does Theonomy have to say right now to the church in China or Iran?
Theonomy has the same thing to say to the church in China or Iran as to the Church in America. Theonomy says to each and all;
“Christ is Lord and as Lord His Law-Word is to be owned, cherished, and championed at every point whenever possible. Be encouraged dear Church that God’s Law-Word is an anvil that has wore out many a tyrant’s hammers. Be faithful. When possible be like the Hebrew mid-wives in disobedience to tyrants. When possible rise up and crush tyrants who rebel against the Crown-Rights of Jesus Christ. Do not lose your first love just so you can go along to get along with tyrants.”
Now, one wonders what AW would say right now to the Church in China and Iran? Probably something like… “Make sure you kiss the arse of the wicked sovereign even if it means disobeying God’s Law-Word because God realizes at times that blaspheming Him by bowing to the Tyrant state is necessary.”
It is an over-realized eschatology with a static view of culture that will disappoint its supporters and make them grow ever strident in their resentment toward culture. A more accurate assessment of history understands culture as buffeted by times of both victory and defeat. To pick either victory or defeat as the litmus test for the church’s mission in society is to subject oneself to either utopia or despair.
1.) First of all, it is hard to believe that a Ph.D. could be so torpid that he does not realize that Theonomy is not an eschatology. Dr. Greg Bahnsen conceded, for example, that it was possible for one to be a Theonomist and be Amillennial.
This is really quite embarrassing that someone could pick up a pen to write a hit piece on “Theonomy” and not realize that Theonomy is not an eschatology. Having said that I am more than willing to admit that most Theonomists I know are postmill but that still doesn’t mean that Theonomy is an eschatology.
2.) The statement that theonomy has a static view of culture is almost as embarrassing as saying that theonomy is an eschatology. It is precisely because theonomy believes that culture can change from non-Christian to Christian that theonomy remains so hopeful.
3.) If culture is defined as the outward expression of a people’s religious beliefs then it is the case that Christians should be increasingly strident and resentful towards Christ-hating culture since Christ-hating cultures are being shepherded by some false God and some false religion. As a Christian am I supposed to be giddy over cultures that defy Christ’s Lordship? Is AW suggesting here that Christians are supposed to make themselves at home in cultures that are anti-Christ? If so, people better quit writing tomes about those evil German Christians who did nothing during the Nazi regime.
4.) Theonomy isn’t asking for instant victory in the Kulturkampf. Theonomy is only asking that people like DW be faithful to Christ in their culture. Theonomists perfectly understand that in God’s inscrutable providence varying cultures wax and wane. No theonomist I know believes in Utopia in the sense that man apart from the Spirit of Christ is going to usher in social order Nirvana. These stupid accusations have been raised many times and likewise answered many times. Walker is just creating a straw man and then tearing down his straw man.
A Christian’s posture toward the world must simultaneously embrace both glory and the cross. Inhabiting this paradox is understandably complex, but it gives us a proper perspective to see that the church’s mission throughout various societies can look very different depending on the societal context.
1.) Earlier in this same article AW faulted theologies of glory. He now admits here that there are times when we must embrace a theology of glory. Now I agree with him here but I can’t help wonder which end of his contradiction he is embracing – Theology of glory always bad or theology of glory sometimes needs to be embraced? Make up your mind man.
2.) The Church’s mission can look very different through various societies depending on societal context. I know of no theonomist who would disagree with that statement. However, the theonomist would add that in any societal context, regardless of the Church’s mission in that societal context the Church – both Institution and Organic – must tell the society to “Kiss the Son lest they perish in the way.” “I love the smell of Theonomy in the morning.”
It’s debatable whether Theonomy desires a formal unity of church and state. Doubtless, though, church and state work in unison to promote each other’s interests. With intention, they mutually reinforce and consolidate one another’s authority. This can be both good and bad. It is bad when religion becomes the government’s handmaiden or vice versa; good when the government enables the gospel to be proclaimed freely (1 Tim. 2:1–2).
1.) It is not debatable in the least that Theonomy desires a formal unity of Church and State. The fact that Walker implies that it is debatable points us towards the idea that Walker doesn’t know the difference between a theocracy (which is an inescapable category and as inescapable all theonomist embrace) and an Ecclesiocracy which no theonomist embraces.
2.) All Governments at all times use religion as a handmaiden. Right now in these united States the Government is using the religion of Cultural Marxist humanism as a handmaiden. So, as all governments at all times use religion as a handmaiden then all Christians at all times should champion all Governments to submit to Christianity so that the Government can be the handmaiden to Christ. This is all theonomy, following Scripture, asks for.
Though medieval Europe was not strictly Theonomic, the first thing to learn about strong unity between church and state is how undesirable it is. A nostalgia that looks with longing on “Christendom” erases the bloodiness that resulted from church and state working in tandem. Absent from history is a tradition of church-state unity that was good for the church’s purity or religious dissent.
1.) Andy can talk all he likes about a strong unity between church and state being undesirable but since all States are a reflection of and descend from some God or god concept it is simply the case that Church and State always walk together. For example, we right now are experiencing a strong union between our current State and the Church (i.e. – Public Schools teaching the religion of Cultural Marxism). Now I quite agree this is undesirable but only because cultural Marxism is a false religion. If Biblical Christianity was the religion of the land I would find it quite desirable. So, once again Andy is wrong about Church and State working together in their proper jurisdictional spheres being undesirable. The Christian Church working with the Christian State is always desirable. Anti-Christ Churches working with Anti-Christ states though is always undesirable.
2.) Now AW raises the old saw about how bloody Christian reigns were and we concede that there were times in history that Christian reigns did unchristian things. However, shall we compare the bloodiness of Charlemagne with the bloodiness of Stalin? Shall we compare the burning of witches at Salem with the Christians killed in Rome’s persecutions? Shall we compare the Inquisition to the numbers that Pol Pot rang up?
The point here is that self-hating Christians like AW are forever ringing their hands over “the bloodiness of Christendom,” without realizing that perhaps Christendom is the least bad of all options. As Church and State always work together maybe Christendom was the least bad combination of Church and State possible? That is the way I read history.
I get weary with Christians lamenting Christendom as if they’d prefer Liberaldom, or Islamadom, or Talmud-dom. Kingdoms crafted by the combination of Church and State are inescapable as we have shown, and since that is true I’ll take Christendom for 1000 Alex.
3.) I’d say the Church-State harmony of early Puritan New England was pretty good. I’d say the Church-state harmony of the Antebellum South was pretty good.
4.) I am opposed to allowing for religious dissent as arising from those who hate Christ. I do not think it should be allowed in a Christian social order.