Two From Beza On Church And State

“Let this be the conclusion of this argument: those (like R. Scott Clark, Michael Horton, David Van Drunen, and Darryl Hart, etc.)who would bar the Christian magistracy from the care of religion and especially from the punishments of heretics, condemn the plain word of God, reject the authority of the ages, and as a consequence seek the total destruction and extermination of the church.”

Beza, De Hereticis, quoted in Verduin, Stepchildren, p. 57

“But what, then, is the relevance of this long discussion of the duty of kings and magistrates to maintain religion for deciding whether they may be forcibly resisted if they persecute it? I reply that it is one thing to introduce religion in a country, another to preserve it once it is established or to restore it when it has been buried, as it were, under the connivance, ignorance, and wickedness of men. I hold, then, that religion is planted and increased by the Spirit of God alone, through the Word, which is ordained for teaching, encouraging, and exhorting, since this is the special activity of the Holy Spirit, which works by spiritual means. The duty of a prince who would convert his subjects from idolatry or superstition to true religion is to see that they are given good and lively instruction, while the duty of subjects, correspondingly, is to yield to reason and to truth. The prince, finally, should provide and enforce good edicts against those who, from pure stubbornness, would resist establishment of the true religion, as has been done in our time in England, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, and in a large part of Germany and of Switzerland, against Papists, Anabaptists, and other heretics. And if, instead of believing in the bloodstained whore of Rome, other nations had done likewise, there would be peace not only in religion but in all other public matters, too.”

Beza, Right of Magistrates as found in Constitutionalism and Resistance in the Sixteenth Century Translated and edited by Julian H. Franklin, p. 134

1.)I don’t think Beza would have been sending his son to Escondido for Seminary training. Indeed, given the first quote Beza might seek to bring these gentleman who teach the R2Kt virus up on charges.

2.)Note, that in these United States the rulers do indeed follow Beza’s advice. In an attempt to convert their subjects from what, as Humanists they consider, idolatry or superstition to true humanist religion, the Rulers, through the Government schools, do seek to see to it that the subjects are given good and lively instruction in the humanist religion.

3.)Some will think that the idea of a magistrate charged with the protection of the first table is unreasonable. The unreasonableness of it though comes from having lived generations without that being the case, not from the idea itself. We have so given into a kind of pluralism that was never intended that we think it odd now to pull back from any kind of restrictions on pluralism. As such, the thought that the magistrate should protect the first table seems to be an abomination to most people who think themselves “god fearing people.” It’s as if, having eaten dog biscuits for supper for generations, we are appalled at the notion of eating steaks.

4.) Now surely, there is no way to go from the pluralism that we have to magistrates enforcing the first table overnight. The only way that this is going to happen is by conversion of both those inside and outside the Church. Conversion of those inside to a Biblical understanding that godless pluralism is not acceptable and conversion of those outside to a Biblical understanding that only life can be found in Christ. We will never be able to strong arm a solution. We got into this mess incrementally and we will only get out of this mess as
the Spirit of Christ changes the minds of men inside and outside the Church. Reformation in head and members is the answer not Revolution.

5.) I think a argument could be made that the pursuit of a Christian Theology that embraces pluralism and that evacuates the responsibility of the magistrate to the first table has contributed to a widespread destruction and extermination of the Church. The church in the West is a curio. It is retreating from every assault against it. The Church has been feminized and is largely run by the third sex.

Beza on the Magistrate and the Church

“The duty of the civil authority in this matter is hedged about by these three regulations: (1) It must strictly confine itself to its own sphere, and not presume to define heresy; that belongs to the church alone. (2) It must not pass judgment with regard to persons, advantages, and circumstances but with pure regard to the honor of God. (3) It must proceed after quiet, regular examination of the heresy and mature consideration of all the circumstances, and inflict such punishment as will best secure the honor due to the divine majesty and the peace and unity of the church.”

Theodore Beza
Beza, De Hereticis, quoted in Schaff, History, p. 798

Here Beza gives us a classical example of normal two Kingdom theology (as opposed to radical two kingdom virus theology). Notice Beza teaches that the civil realm and the church each have their own respective spheres. Second, in number “2” above the counsel is itself based upon the scriptural teaching that legal rulings must be no respecter of persons. Perhaps natural law teaches that we should consult the Scriptures for insights on these matters? Beza is, as such, using the Scriptures to instruct the Magistrate what his role is. Third, the magistrates ruling is in consideration of both God and church. Clearly Beza would be appalled by radical two kingdom virus theology.

All of this is an example of the quote I lifted from Bavinck yesterday. Here we see that “although nature (civil realm) and grace (church realm) are distinct and may not be confused or mingled, God does link the two.

Bucer On The Reformed Magistrate — More anti R2kt virus quotes

Touching Penal sanctions

”But since no one can describe an approach more equitable and wholesome to the commonwealth than that which God describes in his law, it is certainly the duty of all kings and princes who recognize that God has put them over his people that they follow most studiously his own method of punishing evildoers. For inasmuch as we have been freed from the teaching of Moses through Christ the Lord so that it is no longer necessary for us to observe the civil decrees of the law of Moses, namely, in terms of the way and the circumstances in which they described, nevertheless, insofar as the substance and proper end of these commandments are concerned, and especially those which enjoin the discipline that is necessary for the whole commonwealth, whoever does not reckon that such commandments are to be conscientiously observed is certainly not attributing to God either supreme wisdom or a righteous care for our salvation.

Accordingly, in every state sanctified to God capital punishment must be ordered for all who have dared to injure religion, either by introducing a false and impious doctrine about the worship of God or by calling people away from the true worship of God (Deut 13:6-10 and 17:2-5); for all who blaspheme the name of God and his solemn services (Lev.24:15-16); who violate the Sabbath (Ex. 31:14-15, and 35:2; Num. 15: 32-36); who rebelliously despise the authority of parents and live their own life wickedly (Deut.21:18-21); who are unwilling to submit to the sentence of a supreme tribunal (Deut.17: 8-12); who have committed bloodshed (Ex.21:12; Lev. 24:17; Deut. 19:11-13), adultery (Lev. 20:10), rape (Deut.22:20-25), kidnapping (Deut. 24:7); who have given false testimony in a capital case (Deut. 19:16-21).”

Martin Bucer 1491-1551
” The Fourteenth Law: The Modification of Penalties” in Pauck ibid. pp.378-9

Note here that what Bucer does is he retains the general equity of the law as the Westminster confession speaks of in 19:4. In doing this he makes the same exact move that the Westminster divines made. On one hand Bucer admits that the Mosaic civil law as designed for the particular circumstances in which Israel existed has been done away with in Christ, on the other had he insists that the end, goal or purpose of the Mosaic civil law must be maintained.

Clarity on this distinction might be found in someone like Samuel Willard (1640-1707), pastor at Boston’s Old South Church, in his Compleat Body of Divinity (posthumous, 1726). There we find Willard writing,

“With respect to the Judicial Laws, we must observe, that these were Appendices, partly of the Moral, partly of the Ceremonial Law: Now such as, or so far as they are related to the Ceremonial, they are doubtless Abolished with it. As, and as far as they bear respect to the Moral Law, they do, eo Nomine, require Obedience perpetual, and are therefore reducible to Moral Precepts.”

I will still be posting quotes daily for quite some time on the difference between historical Reformed thought on the Two Kingdoms, but it ought to be increasingly evident already that Escondidoism is not Reformed in the slightest on this issue. Indeed, some would even contend that it is antinomian.

If the reader would like to see that R2Kt is considered virus by others besides me and who see it as antinomian they can read today’s entry at,

Do Christian Kings Rule Apart From The Christian Faith?

Psalm 2

“…without a doubt he is speaking of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus. He admonishes all kings and authorities to be wise and to take heed to themselves. What is this wisdom? What is the lesson He gives them? To abdicate it all? Hardly! But to fear God and give homage to His Son…Furthermore, Isaiah prophesies that the kings will become the foster fathers of the Christian church and that queens will nurse it with their breasts (Isa. 49:23).I beg of you, how do you reconcile the fact that kings will be protectors of the Christian Church if their vocation is inconsistent with Christianity?”

Calvin, Treatises Against the Anabaptists and Libertines, p. 79

The Church And Reformed Magistrates

” Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt. This is not laid down on human authority; it is God who speaks and prescribes a perpetual rule for his Church. It is not in vain that he commands paternal love and all the benevolent feelings between brothers, relations, and friends to cease; in a word, that he almost deprives men of their nature in order that nothing may hinder their holy zeal. Why is so implacable a severity exacted but that we may know that God is defrauded of his honour, unless the piety that is due to him be preferred to all human duties, and that when his glory is to be asserted, humanity must be almost obliterated from our memories.”

John Calvin
Tract Defending Action Against Severtus

Quoted in P.Schaff; History of the Christian Church vol 8 :791f.(Eerdmans 1981). The context is the defence of the execution of Servetus