Reformed Confessions Disagree With R. Scott Clark’s Assertions Regarding Theocracy

“All orthodox Christians affirm that God’s moral law is enduring and binding to all people—to deny that is antinomianism. What is at stake here is the magistrate’s role in enforcing that moral law. The framers of the Statement have a plan, to which we have not yet arrived, but it entails some enforcement of the first table, and thus is theocratic.”

R. Scott Clark
Sub-Christian Nationalism? (Part 4)

So, what if it is theocratic? The Reformed Confessions repeatedly call for enforcement of the 1st table and also are hopelessly theocratic. Here is the 2nd Helvetic Confession as just one example of a Reformed Theocratic Confession;

“THE DUTY OF THE MAGISTRATE. The chief duty of the magistrate is to
secure and preserve peace and public tranquility. Doubtless he will never do this more successfully than when he is truly God-fearing and religious; that is to say, when, according to the example of the most holy kings and princes of the people of the Lord, he promotes the preaching of the truth and sincere faith, roots out lies and all superstition, together with all impiety and idolatry, and defends the Church of God. We certainly teach that the care of religion belongs especially to the holy magistrate.

Let him, therefore, hold the Word of God in his hands, and take care
lest anything contrary to it is taught. Likewise let him govern the people entrusted to him by God with good laws made according to the Word of God, and let him keep them in discipline, duty and obedience. Let him exercise judgment by judging uprightly. Let him not respect any man’s person or accept bribes. Let him protect widows, orphans and the afflicted. Let him punish and even banish criminals, impostors and barbarians. For he does not bear the sword in vain (Rom. 13:4).

Therefore, let him draw this sword of God against all malefactors,
seditious persons, thieves, murderers, oppressors, blasphemers, perjuried persons, and all those whom God has commanded him to punish and even to execute. Let him suppress stubborn heretics (who are truly heretics), who do not cease to blaspheme the majesty of God and to trouble, and even to destroy the Church of God.”


“In Bullinger’s ‘Decades,’ he expounds the above argument further. Using the likes of Solomon, Asa, and Josiah, Bullinger argued that the care and ordering of religion does not belong to Bishops alone. Contrary to those who might relegate these examples to the old covenant, Bullinger responds, ‘The men of this opinion ought to prove, that the Lord Jesus and His apostles did translate the care of religion from the magistrate unto Bishops alone: which they shall never be able to do.’

Both the Reformed theologians Francis Turretin and David Dickson followed this line of argumentation from the example of OT kings.”

Cited in Jonathan Beeke’s
Duplex Regnum Christi — FN 30, pg, 74

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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