Baptist Refusal to Baptize Their Children & Postmodern Refusal to Assign Gender to Their Children

Baptists are forever insisting that only those who can articulate their confession of Christ are to be Baptized.  John MacArthur gives us one such example,

“The significance of Baptism is unmistakably clear. In our day, an open solemn confession of the crucified risen Lord is necessary. All who experience the reality of the power of the risen Savior should give this public testimony to His glory as an act of obedience. In biblical Baptism in the New Testament manner, believers not only give testimony to their union with Christ…listen to this…they give testimony to their thoughtful, careful, submissive obedience to the holy Scripture in which nothing could be treated as unimportant.”

Since infants can’t give what MacArthur’s requires therefore infants are not to be recipients of Baptism as a means of Grace. Indeed, the genuine Baptist doesn’t even like calling Baptism a “means of Grace” since to speak like that is putting the emphasis on what God is doing in Baptism as opposed to the Baptist emphasis that Baptism is about what we are doing by being Baptized.

This is Baptist thinking. Children of Christians are not to be Baptized until they can name for themselves their own religious identity as Christian.

This thinking of the sovereign child, who can only be Christian in the context of their own self understanding is now bleeding off into other areas that make perfect sense given the Baptist premise of, “a child cannot choose their religious identity until they are epistemoligcally self conscious about what identity they want to choose.”

Think about it.

What is the difference between Baptist parents insisting that their children have to be epistemoligcally self conscious about what religious identity they want to choose and Modern parents now who are insisting that their children have to be epistemologically self conscious about what sexual identity those children want to choose? What we are saying here is that there is a harmony found in Baptist parents refusing to baptize their children and many modern parents today refusing to “baptize” their children into a predetermined gender believing, just as the Baptists believe, that their children should be able to have a say in the matter of what gender they will have.

Modern parents insisting that children must choose their own sexual identity is just the logical extension of Baptist parents insisting that children must choose their own religious identity.

The point here isn’t that there is an exact one to one correspondence on this matter. The point here is that when you start with the sovereign individual who must be consulted before covenantal realities are determined apart from his or her approval the end result, naturally enough, is sovereign individuals who must be consulted before any number of realities are determined apart from zhis or zhers approval.

Consistent Baptist thinking lends itself to the atomized individual and once the individual is atomized then he or she is free to be self determinate in every area of life from religion to sexuality to who knows where else.

Some will protest that this isn’t a fair analogy since baptism signifies a supernatural event whereas sex is a natural given. But to protest such as this is to miss the point of the analogy. The point of the analogy is not supernatural vs. natural. The point of the analogy is the sovereign individual choosing all. When it is realized that this is the point of the analogy then all protestations of my creating a “straw man” here lose their power.

Let me also add here that both in God’s covenantal ordering and in sexuality both Baptism and gender are objective categories. When one is birthed to Christian parents one is, objectively speaking, a member of the covenant and so is Baptized just as one is, objectively speaking, either male or female. There is a givenness in both being a member of the covenant and in our gender that is objective. That givenness may be twisted but it can never be changed.

A Look at Dr. David Wright’s and IWU’s Surrender to the LGBT Religion — Part II

I conclude my fisking of Indian Wesleyan University’s President’s Dr. David Wright’s Testimony in favor of taking away civil rights from many Christian business owners in exchange for IWU’s being allowed to be a marginally “Christian” University.

Dr. David Wright, President of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion Indiana,

They (the LGBT activists) are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness.   Our love for them means we cannot affirm a pathway that we sincerely believe is mistaken, but neither do we want them to be denied the basic human rights that are their due as fellow citizens.

Rev. McAtee responds,

1.) What does Dr. Wright mean when he says that “they (LGBT activists) are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness?” This is such a circumlocution. This could be said of any criminal class.

a.)  Necrophiliacs are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness.

b.)  Pedophiliacs and Pederasts are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness?

c.) Bestialics  are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness?

d.) Kidnappers  are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness?

e.) Rapists  are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness?

The fact that Dr. David Wright, President of Indiana Wesleyan University, can speak like this proves that he has accepted the LGBT lifestyle as normative for the public square. He would never utter the counter examples above as an attempt of rational speech and yet here he is trying to make his listeners have sympathy for those involved in the kind of behavior that the men of Christendom have made illegal as  being vile and criminal for thousands of years.

2.) Wright insists he does not desire the “basic human rights” of perverts, which are their due, to be denied. And yet Dr. David Wright has no problem denying the basic human rights of “Freedom of Association,” to Biblical Christians.  Biblical Christians must forgo the basic human right of expecting their daughters to go into public bathrooms that don’t have perverted men dressed as women in those same bathrooms.  IWU President David Wright’s testimony desires the Biblical Christian’s basic human right of being able to honor God in their business denied so that the LGBT can honor their God by forcing Christians to give legitimacy to the God of self that informs the LGBT movement.

Dr. David Wright, President of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion Indiana,

We believe all of us who live together as law-abiding citizens of this state must enjoy the basic protections of the law.  To deny one person the protections of law is ultimately to lay the groundwork for denying all persons the protection of law.

Rev. McAtee responds,

1.) Here Dr. Wright assumes what he has not, and cannot prove and that is that those involved in the LGBT lifestyle are “law abiding citizens.” For millennial LGBT behavior has been criminalized.  Back in 1977- 1982 when I attended Marion College, if it were found out that a student was a sodomite they would have been tossed out of school. So, what has happened between 1982 and 2016 that has changed wherein this behavior has gone from criminal to “law abiding?What has happened wherein we have gone from throwing students out of Marion college who were LGBT to now having a Indiana Wesleyan President now categorize them as “Law abiding citizens?”

2.) Wright, by favoring special rights in the public square for LGBT people has surrendered the basic protections of the law for those who favor “Freedom of Association,” and for those who desire to honor God in their public square business.  What David Wright is actually saying here is that “to deny one criminal LBGT person the protection of their criminal behavior is ultimately to lay the groundwork for denying all law abiding persons the protection of law.” Wright fails to realize that those who are criminals do not deserve the protection of the law. What Wright should have said, were he operating as a Biblical Christian, is, “To deny one Christian the protection of law is ultimately to lay the groundwork for denying all Christians the protection of law.” This is what Wright is doing. Via Wright’s testimony Wright is denying Biblical Christians the protection of the law in favor of providing the color of law’s protection to the LGBT community. Law here, can either protect the Biblical Christian’s Freedom of Association, or it can protect the LGBT in forcing Christians to affirm the LBGT lifestyle by doing business with them. Shame on Dr. David Wright.

Dr. David Wright, President of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion Indiana,

In summary, then, we believe that our laws must honor the fundamental rights of freedom of religion, of conscience, and of peaceful coexistence granted us in the constitutions of our state and our nation.  If we abandon or curtail the right to sincerely held religious convictions, peaceably pursued among fellow citizens, we will in time deny all other rights as well.

Rev. McAtee responds,

But David, you’re not honoring the fundamental rights of freedom of religion as it pertains to freedom of association. David, you’re not honoring the fundamental rights of freedom of conscience for those Biblical Christian’s in the public square whose consciences are being violated in being forced to do business with the LGBT community. President Wright, there can be no peaceful coexistence between the God of the Christian and the God of the LGBT movement. You are kidding yourself Dr. Wright and dishonoring Christ at the same time.

Dr. Wright, you seem to think that we can arrive at some kind of social order neutrality between Biblical Christians and pagans and their Gods. You seem to think that a peaceful co-existence can be attained whereby those who are lovers of Christ and those who are haters of Christ can both pursue their diametrically opposed religions in the public square.  What’s more you seem to think this while you yourself are testifying so as to curtail the civil rights of Biblical Christians in the public square. That you can not see that this is what you are doing is astounding.

By you testimony Dr. Wright you are giving cover for those who are saying that the desire of Biblical Christians to live out their faith in peace and liberty is radical. By you testimony Dr. Wright you are giving cover for those who are saying that it is Biblical Christians who are the problem in the public square and that they need to be reigned in.  By you testimony Dr. Wright you are countenancing men in public bathrooms that our daughters may be using.  By you testimony Dr. Wright you are giving cover for those who are pushing legislation that is, in essence, bigoted against Biblical Christian in the public square.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned Dr. Wright. What you have done is far worse. You have helped set the fire to Rome.

Kuyper’s Principled Pluralism … a Framework for Kind of Embracing Same Sex “Marriage”?

Principled pluralism holds that in God’s diverse and differentiated creation there are different structures that have their own particular authorities and powers. These different structures of authority operate within different spheres of social life. Each of these spheres—family, school, church, state, etc.—has its own God-given task, right, and authority. Each possesses authority within its own domain, and each possesses an appropriate authority in their interrelationships with other spheres. Committee to Provide Pastoral Guidance re Same-sex Marriage 13 The Kuyperian view upholds the legitimate authority of the state within a particular sphere of life. Alongside the sphere of the state, we recognize other social structures as having legitimate authority within their respective domains of social life. The state is one structure to which God has given this relative authority. This pluralism, a structural pluralism, is both pragmatic and fundamentally good—that is, both useful and the way things are supposed to be… 

…Principled pluralism does not of itself provide a definitive answer to whether Christians should oppose or be supportive of civil same-sex marriage. Rather, it provides a framework within which a society decides which policies shape its interactions. While principled pluralism does not give us definite answers as to how we ought to act, it does shape the way we think through our current situation, where the church’s understanding of marriage is different from the state’s. No longer must this be necessarily threatening; nor must we have a singular response in all areas of life

2016 CRC Committee to Provide Pastoral Guidance re Same-sex Marriage (majority report)

Here in the Committee’s work we see Principled Pluralism invoked as some kind of limited cover for accepting sodomite marriage. Under the head of Principled Pluralism is gathered both structural pluralism and confessional pluralism.

1.) The idea of Principled Pluralism flounders on the shores of the word “Principled.” The word “Principled” is invoked in order to communicate that Principled Pluralism is distinct from cultural relativism or “anythinggoesism.” The problem here is that we have to ask ourselves is, “by what standard do we measure Principled.” This is absolutely key because the standard we use in order to determine what is and what is not “principled” is the end of Principled Pluralism because we are using only one standard to determine our pluralism. I mean, if we are going to have Principled Pluralism then we should have pluralist standards in order to determine what is and is not Principled.  If Principled Pluralism can provide cover for sodomite marriage why can’t Principled Pluralism, using pluralist standards, provide justification for Sati or provide cover for Bestiality Marriage or provide cover for smoking peyote or provide cover for Snuff Pornography magazines or provide cover for any number of other deviant activities that could conceived?

2.) In the end Principled Pluralism when examined closely is a myth. The idea that many religions (Confessional Pluralism) and their competing gods will be allowed into the public square is seen to be a myth when we understand that some entity must exist in order to rule a competing pluralism to be in or out of bounds as Principled. Until recently Principled Pluralism ruled sodomite marriage as out of bounds. Now with Obergefell vs. Hodges Principled Pluralism allows for sodomite marriage. But notice there isn’t really anything Principled about this Pluralism. One of the Gods (the God of the Bible in this case) lost out against the God of Modernity and it was the real God in the system (the State via the Supreme Court) that determined how Principled “not-so-Pluralism” is defined.  We see here then, that Confessional Pluralism is a no thing. There is no Confessional Pluralism when the State is God walking on the earth determining which of the lesser gods in the putative social order Confessional Pluralism is allowed to have it’s version of pluralism in the public square. The Committee appeals to a myth — to a non-sequitur — in invoking Principled Pluralism as a limited cover for sodomite marriage.

3.) Kuyperian Principled pluralism also insisted that each sphere is under Sovereign God and must move in terms of Gods’ authority and rule. This is something that the Committee left out about Kuyperian Principled Pluralism. In this version of Principled Pluralism the reality is that all of the Structures (Spheres) are accountable to God and are required to govern in their spheres consistent with God’s Word. Does anyone really want to argue that the State is ruling in keeping with God’s Word when it sanctioned same-sex “marriage”? We should remember Kuyper’s warning here regarding the State, “the government is always inclined with its mechanical authority to invade social life, to subject it and mechanically to arrange it.”  No better example of this kind of social engineering can be found than in Obergefell vs. Hodges decision in favor of same sex “marriage,” and yet we are being led to believe that Kuyperian social theory gives limited cover for the State to sanction same sex “marriage.”

3.) We should also note here that Kuyper not only gave us a doctrine of Principled Pluralism he also emphasized the doctrine of the antithesis which emphasized that believing thought and unbelieving thought were in direct opposition. Kuyper noted here that,

We speak none too emphatically therefore when we speak of two kinds of people Both are human but one is inwardly different from the other and consequently feels a different content rising from his consciousness thus they face the cosmos from different points of view and are impelled by different impulses And the fact that there are two kinds of people occasions of necessity the fact of two kinds of human life and consciousness of life and of two kinds of science for which reason the idea of the unity of science taken in its absolute sense implies the denial of the fact of palingenesis and therefore from principle leads to the rejection of the Christian religion.

The point here in citing Kuyper on the Reformed Antithesis is that we cannot fairly take Kuyper on his Principled Pluralism as a limited cover for same sex “marriage” without also taking his understanding of the antithesis as an explanation as to why anybody would ever champion sodomite “marriage” as normal for a social order. The religion that is now animating the Civil Sphere is in antithesis to the Christian religion and all the Principled Pluralism in the world will not cover that up. If we, as Christians, are massaged into supporting same sex “marriage” in the civil realm while not supporting it in the religious realm we thus become like the man who serves two Masters.  Our Lord Christ said that was not possible.  The reason it is not possible is because of Kuyper’s antithesis.

Religious Marriage vs. Civil Realm Marriage?

Within Western culture, marriage has become a social institution in which civil government, the state, has an interest and plays a role. This has not always been the case. In its origins marriage was religious, and only in the past few centuries—as modern nation-states have developed—has the state become involved in issuing marriage licenses and recording marriages for the good ordering of society….

…  there has emerged a level of disconnect between civil and religious marriage. They are no longer, nor have they been for some time, of one piece. The question is how significant the disconnect is, and whether the state has both the authority and the latitude to redefine civil marriage to include same-sex relationships.

2016 CRC Committee to Provide Pastoral Guidance re Same-sex Marriage (majority report)

This committee returns repeatedly to the distinction between “religious marriage” and “civil marriage.” This is an unfortunate distinction and serves to cloud the issues before us. The distinction has been drawn in the wrong place by the committee. The distinction is not between religious marriage and civil marriage but between two different kinds of religious marriages, one that occurs in a context informed by the Christian faith and one that occurs in a context that is informed by a non Christian faith. The fact that some of these marriages happen in the civil realm doesn’t negate that a religious marriage is occurring. It only means that the civil realm is now the container for a marriage that is consistent with a differing religion.

When marriages occur in the Christian context there is one parameters of law that is informing what constitutes a marriage. In the Christian religion the law informs us that in order for a marriage to occur you need one of each sex. In the pagan religion of the civil realm there is a different parameter of law that is informing what constitutes a marriage. In the pagan religion of modernity the law allows for a “marriage” to occur between matched sets (but stay tuned because yet more differing combinations are sure to be legalized in the near future.) Now, what is important to keep in mind here is that the law that legislates the allowed parameters in each context is inescapably religious and therefore each context likewise is inescapably religious — the so called “civil” as much as what is admitted as “religious.” In this case laws defining who and who cannot be eligible partner combinations for marriage.  We have to keep before us in this conversation that the source of any law,  regardless of what realm we are speaking of, when invoked as an authority to define parameters, at that very point takes on the color of religion.  The Civil realm and civil marriages are religiously saturated. We have to keep before us that

1.) Governments make law — In this case the law that says two people of the same sex can get “married.”

2.) Law always has its source in some god or God concept —  Government’s that make law are inescapably religious.

3.)  Law is inescapably religious — A people’s or realm’s (civil) source of authority is it’s God and so it’s religion.

So, we say again, that the distinction we need to be discussing is not the distinction between civil realm marriages and religious marriages as if the civil realm marriages are not inherently religious. The distinction that needs to be made is between marriages shaped and informed by the Christian religion and marriages shaped and formed by some other religion.

Finally, we, as Christians, would say that as the State is God’s minister to do us good (Romans 13) that we answer the question of whether the state has both the authority and the latitude to redefine civil marriage to include same-sex relationships, with a decided negative. The State has no authority or latitude to rebel against God. The State has no authority or latitude to throw off the Christian religion in the family realm. The State has no authority or latitude to seek to arise to the most high to fulfill its aspiration of being god walking on the earth. As God’s spokesman the Church would do well to remind the State of Nebuchadnezzar’s folly and penalty when it seeks to legislate reality by its own fiat word.  The State has no authority or latitude to deem itself anti-Christ.

And neither does the Church.

Hyper-charged Rhetoric Surrounding Marriage?

“This is not all, however, that needs to be noted. Especially in this era of hypercharged rhetoric surrounding marriage, it is good to be reminded that, revered as marriage is from a Christian standpoint, it is not the be-all and end-all of human relations or society. Jesus certainly “honored marriage by his blessed presence at the wedding in Cana,”9 but Jesus also noted that “those who are considered worthy of a place in that age [to come] and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.”10 Similarly, the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 contextualizes marriage as a penultimate good—that is, good as it meets the needs of those being married, but a good which may detract from single-minded devotion to “the affairs of the Lord.”11 Marriage, from a Reformed perspective, is creational; it is not eschatological.

2016 CRC Committee to Provide Pastoral Guidance re Same-sex Marriage (majority report)

1.) One wonders what examples the Committee would adduce for ‘hypercharged rhetoric surrounding marriage’?

2.) We must keep in mind that it is God Himself that instituted Marriage. It was God Himself who said, “It is not good that man should be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him.” It was God Himself who then created and presented the Woman for his marriage companion. This Genesis account gives us God’s hyper-charged rhetoric surrounding marriage and we would do well to consider God’s rhetoric.

3.) The fact that marriage is transcended in the eschaton proves exactly what when it comes to Marriage in this epoch?

4.) In the same I Corinthians 7 passage that is cited here as proof that marriage is not the “be all end all of human relations” we also read,

“…let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.”

But the Apostle was probably engaged here in hyper-charged rhetoric, I’m sure.

Also consider that in this I Corinthians 7 passage the Holy Spirit inspired St. Paul communicates that singleness is a gift. This would communicate that God is pleased to grant this gift to some people but the norm remains marriage.

5.) Somehow it is concluded then that marriage is creational and not eschatological as if those two are sealed tight compartments that don’t have anything to do with one another. We must keep in mind that as God had the eschatological end in mind in His creation all creation is imbued with the eschatological. The creational realm reaches towards the eschatological precisely because the creation came from the hand of God, who, in His creation fashioned it for its eschatological end. One simply cannot conclude that somehow marriage is less important because it was only made for creation.

Second, Marriage was most certainly not made only for creation unless we misunderstand that Marriage does enter the eschaton via the Marriage of Christ and His bride, the Church. This wedding feast of the Lamb reminds us that Marriage here cannot be overestimated in terms of importance. God deigned to picture the relationship between the Son and the Church in the eschaton by giving us Marriage in creation.

Certainly, Marriage is not the be all end all of human relations but it is a model that God uses to communicate essential and indisputable truths such as marriage is defined as one woman for one man.