Considering Tyranny

“Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, Who write misfortune (violence), Which they have prescribed. To rob the needy of justice, And to take what is right from the poor of My people, That widows may be their prey, And that they may rob the fatherless.” 3. And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?

Isaiah 10:1-3

Here in Isaiah, the Prophet picks up a sub-theme he had begun in chapter 1.

Hear the word of the Lord,
    you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the instruction of our God,
    you people of Gomorrah!

Your rulers are rebels,
    partners with thieves;
they all love bribes
    and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
    the widow’s case does not come before them.

Isaiah 1:10, 23

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter….

23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
but deny justice to the innocent.

Isaiah’s complaint here is about the ruling class in Judah – likely what we call legislators – were continually writing laws that today we would describe as anarcho-tyranny. That is laws were being passed that were manifestly unjust towards the needy, poor and have nots and so tyrannical while at the same time the lawless were exempt from law and so were allowed to be anarchistic. They were in short perpetrating the most egregious wrong under legal forms. It is the perversion from the seat of judgment that is being rebuked by the Prophet.

It is the same old story where God is cast out of consideration among the high born and among the political sock puppets of the high born. They who rise to these positions of political power and influence eventually think themselves as exempted from the ordinary lot of the little people even eventually concluding that they are not answerable to any God.
However, Isaiah tells them in vs. 3 that they will be the first to be visited with God’s judgment. Where will they turn in their day of Desolation? What good will all their power be in that day of visitation?

Isaiah brings back the reality of the God who remembers all before the potentates and sovereigns of Judah. He reminds them there is a God who sits in heaven and sees and who will mete out the whirlwind of divine justice in repayment for that wind of graft and injustice the Kings, Princes, and Leaders did sow.

In this warning Isaiah reminds his listeners and us today that there are many things which God appears to pass by in this life but which in point of fact is merely being set aside till that final day of visitation. How many have been the godly righteous through the centuries who counted on this reality. How many Christians suffered under the rule of a Nero or a Bishop Laud, or a Catherine Medici or Julian the Apostate or a King Charles I counting on the reality that God would not forget to bring a day of visitation upon wicked tyrants who would not repent.

Calvin offers here,

Accordingly, visitation must here be understood to mean the judgment by which God, in opposition to the waywardness and insolence of the ungodly, will bring them back like deserters. But if the judgments of God be so dreadful in this life, how dreadful will he be when he shall come at last to judge the world! All the instances of punishment that now produce fear or terror, are nothing more than preparations for that final vengeance with which he will thunder against the reprobate, and many things which he appears to pass by, he purposely reserves and delays till that last day. And if the ungodly are not able to bear these chastisements, how much less will they be capable of enduring his glorious and inconceivable majesty, when he shall ascend that awful tribunal, before which the angels themselves tremble! (Calvin)

So what this passage is dealing with is the reality of Tyranny and tyrants … of usurpation and Usurpers. The Prophet makes the case that God will by no means acquit the tyrant. God will have His way with the wicked who have oppressed His people and who have overthrown His law in favor of a completely subjective law that serves their own purposes and feathers their own nests. By this passage we can authoritatively say that “God Hates Tyrants,” and promises that there will be a payday some day unless they repent now.

And so today as we take up this matter we want to hold out again to the tyrants who might stumble across this message that will receive them as His own if they will but repent and trust Jesus Christ. If they will but end with their Tyranny and usurpation against God and His just law they can be assured that they will be received but should they spurn this offer from the Sovereign of the universe then they this warning will for eternity ringing in their ears.

Webster 1828 Dictionary defines TYR’ANNY as

1. Arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; the exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government. Hence tyranny is often synonymous with cruelty and oppression.
We learn from this just what we read in the passage from Isaiah. Here as in Isaiah the point is that authority and power are be exercised in a illegitimate fashion inasmuch as they are exercised as inconsistent with God’s law revelation.

This is possibility of tyranny is a reality whether or not one holds that God’s law is revealed via natural law or whether one holds that God’s law is to be considered as being revealed via Holy Writ. In both of these positions there is the conviction that Tyranny and tyrants are possible and as such the governing rule of such men has no legal or moral legitimacy. There is nothing in their rule that compels or requires obedience.

Of course tyranny and the tyrant remains a problem for modern man. Indeed, we live right now under circumstances not completely different from Israel experience during Isaiah’s time. Americans likewise have those in leadership who decree unrighteous decrees and who write misfortune. The West is covered with tyrants and here in this country we have been living under tyranny of one degree or another for 150 years with each passing year finding the tyranny ever increasing in degree and substance.

There was a time when the Reformed Church above all other churches would lift its voice regarding tyrants, tyranny and Usurpers and Usurpation. There was a time when ministers would mount their pulpit and cause the walls to shake with their voices raised to heaven decrying tyranny. Such days have long since passed as the church as been declawed, defanged and tamed. Today we are told from seemingly every quarter that we must not raise our voices against tyrants and tyranny. We must “keep in our lane” we are told, completely ignoring the driving habits of our Fathers who joined with Isaiah and said things like we hear from the Divine Samuel Rutherford in his Lex Rex;

“Tyranny being a work of Satan, is not from God, because sin, either habitual or actual, is not from God: the power that is, must be from God; the magistrate, as magistrate, is good in nature of office, and the intrinsic end of his office, (Romans 13:4) for he is the minister of God for thy good; and, therefore, a power ethical, politic, or moral, to oppress, is not from God, and is not a power, but a licentious deviation of a power; and is no more from God…”

Samuel Rutherford- Lex Rex. p. 34

Or from

Calvinist Francis Hotman who posed this rhetorical question,

If a state was once free, but later was conquered by a tyrant, was it not lawful to overthrow the tyrant and revert to that ancient Independence?”

The nature of wicked princes is much like to warthogs, which if they be suffered to have their snouts in the ground, and be not forthwith expelled, will suddenly have their snouts in all the body; So they if they be obeyed in any evil thing be it ever so little will be obeyed in all at length.”

John Ponet

Magisterial Reformer

When therefore the supreme ruler has become a tyrant, he must be deemed by his own perjury (as against the covenant document with the people) to have freed people from their oath, and not to the contrary, when the people assert their rights against him.”

Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos

(Thought to have been written by a one of two men … both of whom were Calvinists)

As often as the Magistrate commands anything that is repugnant EITHER to the worship which we owe unto God OR to the love which we owe unto our neighbor, we cannot yield thereunto with a safe conscience. For as often as the commandment of God and men are directly opposed one against another, this rule is to be perpetually observed; that it is better to obey GOD than men.”

Theodore Beza

Calvin’s Successor in Geneva

Resistance to tyrannical governors was, according to (Calvinist Pierre) Viret, a legitimate act of self defense. He even endorsed the use of disinformation if the tyrant were persecuting as analogous to resisting a band of robbers. If the political leader acted like a criminal, Viret thought he should be treated like a one, and the citizens were justified in resisting him.”

The Political Ideas of Pierre Viret

Robert Dean Linder — p. 131

The Calvinist Peter Martyr stipulated that others in the public weal, who were in ‘place and dignity lower than princes’ and yet in positions of responsibility to ‘elect the superiors,’ have power by existing laws to govern the commonwealth. If, therefore, a prince does not preform his covenant as promised, ‘it is lawful to constrain and bring him into order and by force compel him to fulfill the conditions and covenant which he had promised, and that by war when it cannot be otherwise done.’

And who does Martyr include in his list of “others in the public weal’ who had a responsibility to keep an eye on wandering Magistrates?

Why Peter Martyr includes “Ministers of the Churches,” as those who had a responsibility to keep an eye on wandering Magistrates.

Loyal shoulders should sustain the power of the ruler so long as it is exercised in subjection to God and follows His ordinances; but if it resists and opposes the divine commandments, and wishes to make me share in its war against God, then with unrestrained voice, I answer back that God must be preferred before any man on earth.”

-John of Salisbury, Policraticus, 1159

“The Lord does not give Kings the right to use their power to subject the people to tyranny. Indeed when Liberty to resist tyranny seems to be taken away by princes who have taken over, one can justly ask this question; since kings and princes are bound by covenant to the people, to administer law in truest equality, sincerity and integrity; if they break faith and usurp tyrannical power by which they allow themselves everything they want: is it not possible for the people to consider together taking measures in order to remedy the evil?”

John Calvin

Sermon I Samuel Chapter 8

“…when constitutional limited government is abandoned, tyranny is a result. And citizens have a right to resist tyranny.”

– Robert Godfrey

(2010 Ligonier Regional Conference)

“When Tyranny is abroad, submission is a crime.”

Rev. Andrew Elliot

Election Sermon, 1765

Coming in the context of the English “Stamp Act”

Today that kind of preaching is largely considered “out of place.”

And my friends … my family in Christ, Tyranny is abroad and I for one will not submit. For almost 50 years we have put up with the work of the Tyrants who have tortured and killed the judicially innocent while inhabiting their sanctuaries of life. It has seemingly ended but our tyrant in chief of this country stands before God man and laments that it is a dark day in our history that this small portion of tyranny has come to an end.

But for every one portion of tyranny that seemingly passes us by our Luciferian tyrants prepare for us another crown of illegitimate and immoral law to press down upon our brows by passing legislation that overturns our political covenant as a people.

In the typical fashion of the Usurper and Tyrant our rulers pass an omnibus like legislation this week attacking our political covenant that was arrived upon in the darkness of hidden counsels and presented and passed without the opportunity to even fully read and dissect the legislation that has no passed the US Senate. No amendments were allowed to be offered to this legislation which had more the character of a drive by shooting in Chicago then well thought out and crafted legislation And all of it is fouled with the smell of control that the tyrant so much loves and which the Christ lover hates.

Tyranny now covers what has been called our charter of negative privileges. That document growing out of English common law that was itself so influenced by Biblical law. That document that was committed to explaining what the Federal Government could NOT do to the people in their states organized. That document that is commonly called our Bill of rights but perhaps should be more properly called the Bill of Prohibitions.”

What happened this week is just the kind of thing that Isaiah was seeing in his time. Legislators who decree unrighteous decrees, and those who write misfortune (violence), Which they have prescribed. To rob the needy of justice.

With the tyrants work this week the Federal Government has broadened its ability to infringe the God ordained assignment to keep and bear arms. With the tyrants work this week all that is left of the Due Process guaranteed in the 5th amendment is the Cheshire’s cat’s smile. With the tyrants work this week the Federal Government has weakened your 6th amendment right to face your accuser. Let’s not even talk about the 9th and 10th amendments.

With the voice of Patrick Henry from long ago; I ask friends, what means this legislative action, if its purpose be not to force us into submission?

All of this, if allowed to stand, is the State once again seeking to arise to the position of the most high with the goal of being God walking on the earth. It is the state’s play for divinity … for the right to control the way only God does control. It is this aspect of all of this tyranny that should give the Biblical Christian unrest and cause Him to call out to the God of War. It is this that should energize the clergy across the land to lift their voice to decry wickedness and tyranny in high places. Why should the clergy of all people sit by and remain silent in the face of the State’s attempt to be a god that ranks itself before the only one God? God people can never acquiesce to being controlled by and so serving a God besides the God of the Bible.

Our voices remain mute and our actions are not concentrated because we have lived under long term incremental tyranny and we have adjusted ourselves to the increments of tyranny so that one no longer even notices the next ratcheting up of the tyranny. This gun bill that is being shoved down our throats is just the next instantiation in a long line of tyranny but very few people are screaming ruddy murder. We have become inured to the reality that the FEDS are usurpers and now we just roll with whatever the most recent punch is that they deliver in our direction.

This is so because we have become a Christless people. Having abandoned our great King we no longer have a King to whom we owe a allegiance which would provide us with the solid grand upon which to stand in order to defy Tyrants and Usurpers. We have become so malleable and weak that we even gladly surrender our own seed to the maw of the God-State that we are currently living under.

I am so weary of this Christ-less tyranny. So weary of having to adjust in order to find a way to accommodate it. So weary of having to bow my knee to jackanapes, mountebanks, and blaggards when it should be the tyrants who are the ones bowing their knees to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

From Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson to FDR and nearly every President since then the tyranny has continued to inflate so that the intolerance of it all screams to the heavens.

And the Church? The Church is like C. S. Lewis’ Lady of the green kirtle who casts spells in order to put people to sleep when they begin to become aroused about the nature of their peril in living under her tyranny. The visible Church is largely useless in this hour having herself decided to now be a servant of the Tyrant that at least a few of us so despise.

If we wish to be free—if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which our Christian Fathers and we have been so long contending—if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must prepare to fight! I repeat it, sir, we must prepare to fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

Patrick Henry

Sermonic Tidbits — 27 July, 2014

Now, why is this Pauline Eschatological impulse that we have noted here important?

Simply because the nowness of the “age to come” has been so long buried and continues to be buried underneath the flotsam and jetsam of those in the Church who would rather overemphasize the “not yetness” of the age to come. They accuse us who preach this nowness of an “over-realized” eschatology, by which they mean that our expectations of what Christ intends to accomplish before His return is too high to the point of being dangerous. They cast their eyes upon the landscape and they see how Christians are marginalized and they say, “Thus it has ever been, thus it is now, thus it will ever be. Amen,” completely ignoring the triumph of the Gospel and of Christianity in periods throughout history.

They thus make a virtue out of the expectation that the gates of Hell shall prevail. Their theology is all Crucifixion and no Resurrection and Ascension. They see the “not yet” of our Reformed Hermeneutic as corporeally incarnating itself into all of reality and all of our living but the “now” victory of our Reformed Hermeneutic in their sermons, books, and tours is all “spiritual,” which is to say not only that it has no present tactile reality anyplace beyond the Church, but that it never will have any present tactile reality anyplace beyond the Church.

So, a very prominent manifestation of blatant unbelief in the Evangelical churches today is to allow the “not yet” to “eat up” or gut/overrule/obliterate the “already” in terms of it having any practical reality in the faith of believers. Such unbelief has got to stop for it invites the divine curse upon that unbelief. The “not yet” perspective indeed has a role to play in the eschatological orientation as the Bible defines it, but absolutely NOT one that is to the denial of the “already”. The Biblical orientation from the get-go is to live by faith, not by sight. Abraham and his family believed themselves to be possessors of the promised land of Canaan long before the actual historical arrival of Joshua and his army of conquest. In terms of the world/cosmos as a whole, we Christians are called today to stand in the same sort of shoes of faith that Abraham himself did. Everything rides on the fact of the “already”. The resurrection, ascension, and enthronement of Christ mark the definitive advent — the “already” — of the “new creation”.

Sermonic Tidbit From 2020

Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness  Against Your Neighbor — Exodus 20:16

Do you see why not participating in this false witness impressed upon you by the lying State is so important? It is not “just a mask,” it is the camel’s nose under the tent unto the next breach of the Christ-hating tyrant state.

Masks are supporting the lie of a social order that is amped up on fear. This fear juice throughout history has been used upon the public to support Marxist Revolution. Whether it was the constant lies of the Duc d’Orleans of the French Revolution or whether it was the constant lies of the Bolsheviks before the Russian revolution or whether it was the lies of the abolitionists and Jacobins of our own Revolution of 1861 fear is ginned up in order to drive people to support the Christ-hating Revolution.

Christians … do not bear false witness. Live not by lies.

Masks are supporting a social order controlled by the State. A state that can make you put on a clown mask can make you accept a vaccine, can make you give up your currency, can make you tell on your neighbor for the silliest of reasons.

Fear and control … do not bear false witness. Live not by lies.

From the pulpit, in my teaching, in my writing, and even on the radio platform God has opened up I have tried to warn people that our biggest enemy right now is the Tyrant State. It was the case through Scripture and it remains the case now. Government is fire and while it can be a fine servant it always needs to remain under the control of a Christian people.
And right now the State is seeking to control you through fear by having you wear the worthless mask. Do not bear false witness. Live not by lies.

Let us close by quote Solzhenitsyn one more time. Of course, Solzhenitsyn knew what it was to live under a state tyranny that required its people to live by lies if they desired to survive. How long until we are living under that same kind of tyranny? We are well on our way there. We can avoid paying the cost that the Russian people paid if we will just stand fast now… at this point. If we will just refuse to bear false witness with these masks… if we will just live not by lies.

Solzhenitsyn speaking in 1978 said,

“Truth seldom is pleasant; it is almost invariably bitter. A loss of courage may be the most striking feature, which an outside observer notices in the West in our days…Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course, there are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.”

Sermon Teaser
Charlotte Christ the King Reformed Church — AM service
26 July 2020

Humanism — Nebuchadnezzar & Ours

Daniel 4:28-37
This morning we consider this dream of Nebuchadnezzar, its fulfillment, and its result and we do so in light of seeing in it the worldview of Humanism that continues to this day.
Daniel 4 starts as a retrospective. Nebuchadnezzar has come through his ordeal and now he writes stating what he has learned as a result of God’s chastisements. As we will learn he comes out of this madness tamed and now God-centered in his thinking… the direct opposite disposition as he portrayed going into this period of insanity.
Chapter 4 recounts Nebuchadnezzar’s great dream of the mighty tree in the midst of the earth that was visible to the whole globe and was the source of nutrition for all the known world and provided sanctuary to all the beasts of the field. In the dream Nebuchadnezzar sees a Holy Watcher (Angel) descend and pronounce judgment upon this arboreal wonder commanding that it be cut down w/ its stump bound by iron and bronze till the judgment time is fulfilled. The purpose of this humbling was
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.’
The purpose of this dream pulls back the curtain on the meaning that Daniel will give. If the purpose of these prophesied events is to communicate that God rules and is sovereign over who rises and falls in terms of the kingdoms of men then it is a pretty good guess that what Nebuchadnezzar is seeing in his vision of the magnificent arboreal is the Kingdom of Babylon with himself as the incarnation of Babylon ruling mightily over the affairs of men.
Given the grandeur of it all, it is easy to see what is going on in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is a re-instantiation of the Genesis 11 Babel project. In Gen. 11 we have a ziggurat reaching into the heavens and here we have a tree reaching into the heavens. Daniel identifies this cosmic tree as Nebuchadnezzar – the center and pivotal point of the universe. In the ancient world, pagan kings were the state and the state was represented in the pagan king. Again, this is all very Babel-like in its description. You have this great society, in this dream, that is ruling the world without any recourse to the God who is. As we will see Nebuchadnezzar understands that he indeed is the center of all this glory.
Here we have the humanist state and humanism once again perfectly defined. Man sees himself as the center of his own reality. There is no God to parley with. No divinity to consider for man as god to reckon with.
Nebuchadnezzar could have said along with Invictus author Wm. Earnest Henley
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
However, Nebuchadnezzar is given an opportunity to repent after he is tetched with madness.
 Seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. (25)
At the end of his insanity, Nebuchadnezzar will give up his humanism and acknowledge the supremacy of God.
Apparently, Nebuchadnezzar missed Daniel’s warning, refused the offer to repent (27), and continued on in his anthropocentric reality. He saw all reality in terms of the glory of his majesty (30).
Friends, Babylon would have been something to behold. Her walls for defense were wide enough to allow for four chariots abreast pulled each by four horses to pass one another on the walls. Numerous ornate Temples speckled the city. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world – the famous hanging gardens – that Nebuchadnezzar built for one of his wives was there. All the wealth of the known world flowed into Babylon.
All of this Nebuchadnezzar chalked up to his mighty power without a thought of the God of the Bible.
There is another pointer in this text to the humanism that was pursued in Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar as a world and life view in this text and that is where Daniel says in offering repentance,
27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.”
This appeal to repentance implies that there were moral standards outside of Nebuchadnezzar that Nebuchadnezzar was to conform to. In other words, there was objective right and wrong that Nebuchadnezzar was responsible to. There was a moral authority above His authority that Nebuchadnezzar was to bow to. Implied here is that Nebuchadnezzar is acting as his own standard quite apart from considering God’s law-word. Again, this is humanism.
Doubtless morality and truth then, like today, were the consequence of process philosophy where truth evolves over time so that one can only speak of truth as a temporary phenomenon. And for Nebuchadnezzar, the process philosophy of his time found its high point in Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian Empire. Truth was Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuchadnezzar was truth.
So, for Nebuchadnezzar, there were no absolute absolutes – only process — no absolute law, no absolute justice, no absolute truth beyond himself. This was his humanist faith when he confronted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and he declared, “Who is that God who is able to deliver you out of my hand?
He could say that because in his humanist faith he was God. Who do these lowly Hebrews think they are? What kind of myth do they believe in? Don’t they know I am the high point of history, the high point of process, and there is no greater power than I?
So, we see Nebuchadnezzar’s humanism in his self-aggrandizement, in his “man the measure morality,” in his self-centeredness. Nebuchadnezzar viewed himself as god.
Epistemologically he was the source of his own truth. There was no appeal beyond him.

Axiologically he was his own highest value. There was nothing to seek beyond him.

his Kingdom was the ultimate end. History had found its completion in Neb.

he viewed himself as god. And as god he could dictate any reality he like.
This is humanism and we see it just as clearly now in the 21st century as Nebuchadnezzar embraced it in the ancient world and as Babel incarnated in Genesis 11. Man the measure of all things. Man the center of all things.
We pause here to spend some time examining some of the basic convictions of humanism that is always a part of all humanism when you stumble across it.
1.) Man is basically good. And man will decide what good is.
Man left to himself, apart from evil influence, will choose what is good.
Of course this is contrary to Scripture which teaches that man is fallen and so sinful. Evangelism requires that we communicate to fallen men that they are fallen and are not basically good. The religion of humanism must be punctured and man must see that he is fallen and that all his actions stem from a sinful nature.
2.) Man’s environment accounts for evil.
Humanism, believing man is basically good must account for the presence of evil somewhere and so humanists insist that it is man’s environment that accounts for evil and so if evil is to be finally conquered then man’s environment must be turned into a Utopia. As such social engineering is pursued in order to make men conform to a redemptive environment.
3.) From this belief that man’s environment accounts for evil arises the myth of the noble savage.
If man is evil because of an evil artificial civilization environment then the man who is noblest is found where civilization has left man untouched and so walking in terms of his inbred goodness and “innocence.” And so we get the Romanticist nonsense about men untouched by the evil influence of civilization.
The Noble savage myth continues to this day as we are bombarded with the evils of the civilized Christian white man.
Whiteness and white racialized identity refer to the way that white people, their customs, culture, and beliefs operate as the standard by which all other groups are compared. “
This is humanism on parade under the auspices of the Noble savage. What the complaint here is actually is a complaint against is Christianity. The noble savages have not been afflicted with the customs, culture, and beliefs of Christian white people, and because they have not been afflicted with the Christianity of white people therefore they can arise to accuse the Christian white man as being the heart of all that is evil.
You see this noble savage humanism is not so much attacking Christian white people as it is attacking the beliefs and the God who made the Christian white man what the Christian white man is. This is a humanist attack on Jesus Christ… a backdoor humanism attempt to roll him off his throne.
4.) The agency whereby man discovers his goodness is Church & State
The church in Revolutionary Humanism is the government school as controlled by the State. Of course over the course of time as the “Christian” church begins to reflect the Government schools as Government school graduates bring their humanism into the Church. Church and State teach basically good man that it is his role to use any means necessary to change the environment in order to serve the “good.”
5.) The abstraction of mathematical equality is applied to men in their social relations. Humanism leads to egalitarianism and egalitarianism here is defined in such a way so that no man is allowed to excel above another. All men being equal results in “all men being the same.” So, whether it is 700 million Chinese wearing the Maoist suit or whether it is men and women sharing public bathrooms, equality is now the order of the day. This is humanism. As all men together are god no god-man can be allowed to rise above another god-man. All of this is merely the logical outworking of man the center.
6.) Man, being absolutized, is his own God
And man being God there is a movement towards Social Order uniformitarianism. All gods have unity in the godhood and so as collective man is god collective man builds social order where there is very little margin for differentiation among the particular men.
7.) All other mediating Institutions (Family, Church, School, Guild, etc.) are eliminated.
Humanism does not allow for pluralistic jurisdictions (See #5). Everything is for the State and nothing is outside the State. We are seeing this increasingly in our culture. Teachers have long been agents for the State. Soon Doctors will be agents for the State with Obamacare. Ministers are often Defacto ministers of the State.
The demand of humanism (and of its child, socialism) is for a universal ethics. In universal ethics, we are told that, even as the family gave way to the tribe, and the tribe to the nation, so the nation must give way to a one-world order. All men must treat all other men equally. Partiality to our family, nation, or race, represents a lower morality, we are told, and must be replaced by a ‘higher’ morality of a universal ethics.”
Rousas John Rushdoony
8.) Man as God, thus can be assured of the inevitability of progress
Since God can not fail, Man as God calls whatever is “progress.”
All of this you would have found in Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon. You would have found it in Babel society in Genesis 11. You find all of it in the French Revolution. The Revolutions of 1848. The Socialist experimental communities in America from John Humphrey Noyes Oneida community to Robert Owen’s New Harmony Indiana Utopia community to Mother Anne Lee’s Shaker community, to Joseph Smith’s original Mormonism. From Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution to Mao’s Cultural Revolution to the ongoing work here now to level all of us in the humanist Utopian gulag.
All of these expressions of humanism find the above characteristics and they are all singed by hell’s fire and they all smell of sulfur and their all adherents – whether clergy or laymen – need to repent and be warned if they will not repent of this self-centered Christ-attacking humanism they will eternally die.
Only faith in Jesus Christ …. only the embrace of Biblical Christianity can overturn all of this. Only by the overturning of humanism that Nebuchadnezzar experienced accompanying by a humble bowing before God and His truth can deliver us from this death spiral we are in called humanism. Only by ceasing to exalt ourselves at the expense of everyone else and turning to exalt the triune God can we be rescued. Only by living by every law-word of God can we be delivered from the enchanting death word of fallen man.
If Nebuchadnezzar was in need of repentance as warned by Daniel Western man is in need of a repentance of sackcloth and ashes. Only the triune God can rescue us out of the depths of the wormhole of Humanism that we find ourselves down.
Note here that it is the Christianity of our the Bible and our Reformed Fathers alone which can provide deliverance. Away with the Christianities of Pentecostalism, Holiness, Lutheran, and Baptist. Only a Christianity that is totalistic in its belief armament can overturn the armaments of humanism. As Van Til used to say,
The Christian faith as a whole, as a unit, must be set over against the non-Christian faith as a whole. Piecemeal apologetics is inadequate, especially for our time. A Christian totality picture requires a Christian view of the methodology of science and philosophy, as well as a Christian view of theology.”
The humanism we face is a humanism that can only be met by a totalistic worldview Christianity. Nebuchadnezzar will not be overthrown without a Calvinism that reaches beyond what is today called “Calvinism,” back to when Calvinism filled men with testosterone and women with grit.
We learn in this passage that Nebuchadnezzar was healed of his humanism.
Nebuchadnezzar tells us that, after a long period of insanity, when he lifted up his eyes unto Heaven, he says, “Mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most high and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion and his kingdom is from generation to generation.”
Nebuchadnezzar who had earlier declared his own presumption of godhood, and who taken himself as the Archimedian leverage point of all reality – that is as god walking on the earth, and who had declared that there was no higher point in all of creation than himself, now acknowledges the dominion and the sovereignty of God, and declares that “all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand or say unto him, ‘What doest thou?’”
Nebuchadnezzar, in order to understand any country he was waging war against, studied their religion, and so it is not unreasonable to believe that before this event that Daniel 4 tells of, years before, he had read the scriptures. It is not unreasonable to assume that Nebuchadnezzar learned some of the Hebrews Scriptures from his Hebrew captives including Daniel and his friends. We say it is not unreasonable because the words falling out of Nebuchadnezzar’s mouth here echoes other passages in Scripture.
Nebuchadnezzar says;
I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?”
Listen to other Scripture for an echo effect,
Psalm 145:13, “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth through all generations.”
Isaiah 40:17, “All nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.”
Isaiah 43:13, “Yea, before the day while I am he and there is none that can deliver out of my hand, I will work and who shall let it?”
Isaiah 43:21, “This people have I formed for myself. They shall show forth my praise.”
Nebuchadnezzar thus echoes scripture as he has come to the end of himself as all humanists must and commit himself to the sovereignty of God.
Nebuchadnezzar concludes, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”
This is a very telling confession and a very profound one because here Nebuchadnezzar is confessing a creator God that transcends man the creature. Nebuchadnezzar is confessing the righteousness of all God’s works. Nebuchadnezzar is confessing that
Luke 1:52 God brings  down the mighty from their thrones
land exalts those of humble estate;
In all this Nebuchadnezzar strikes out at that which is the heart of humanism in every age, in which the existentialist and pomo philosophers in our time have formulated as their faith. Nebuchadnezzar declares of God that all his works are truth because God is truth, and his ways, justice.
At this point, Nebuchadnezzar has left behind his humanism and now sounds very much like a God-fearing King.
Humanism is awash in the Church
CRT in the Church is humanism
We are learning in the evening service in our reading that Christianity is being reinterpreted through the lens of CRT.
R2K is public square humanism inasmuch as it denies that the Church has the responsibility to articulate a “thus saith the Lord” for public square social order issue. When it denies a thus saith the Lord it creates a public square religious vacuum that will be filled by some form of humanism.
We would do well to repent now so we are chastised by 7 years of animal madness.

Galatians 3:26f & The Indiscriminate Nature of the Gospel AND the Foolishness of Social Egalitarianism

Galatians 3:26-29

26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.


To pick up the stream of thought of that which is going before in Galatians we find the emphasis here on Sonship explained by the earlier teaching that before the advent of Christ the people of God were as children under the tutelage of the ceremonial law (3:24-25). The problem in Galatians is that the Judaizers desired to foist upon Gentile Christians the ceremonial law. The Judaizers were in effect saying that in order to become Christians one had to become cultural Jews observing circumcision and Jewish food laws. St. Paul in Galatians argues a resounding “NO” to the Judaizing idea that the Gentiles had to become cultural Jews in order to be Christian.

Christ has come and so the ceremonial law had served its purpose. The ceremonial law were to the people of God before Christ what braces were to a child with weak legs. Once those legs gain their strength the necessity for the braces end. The ceremonial law had the intent of placarding Christ before Christ came but once Christ had arrived in order to be an aid to faith. However with the arrival of Christ those ceremonial law braces are fulfilled and are no longer needed. The case with the Judaizers in Galatia however is that they were telling these non-Jewish converts they had to put the legal braces back on.

The Holy Spirit argues that with the advent of Christ there is no longer a need for braces. The old age that required the law as a tutor for children has passed and the new age wherein we are no longer children but sons of God has dawned.

This is where St. Paul starts in vs 26. There are all Sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Of course the Sonship that Paul speaks is a son-ship by Adoption. Jew or Gentile those brought into the family of God are brought in by Adoption. We have passed through the courtroom and have been declared righteous because of the finished work of Jesus Christ wherein as our substitute our sins are owned by Christ as His own and His righteousness is reckoned to our account. Now having peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ we now have access to the family room. The court room has an exit that leads to the family room and there we find adoption. We are not treated as the former criminals and sinner that we were but now we have concourse and fellowship with God and all the Saints who are now and who have gone before.

We are adopted. We have all the privileges of family. There is the sense of intimacy, the ability to cry out Abba Father, the confidence that God as our Father will provide, protect, comfort, and discipline, each as in turn we need. We are adopted and because of that we can have confidence of the love of God in Christ Jesus.

And the inspired Apostle says that this adoption is through faith in Jesus Christ just as our Justification was through faith in Jesus Christ. Like Justification, this adoption is a forensic / legal category. Our Adoption is not a matter of our emotions or feelings at any given time but it is a matter of being legally true. Because of the finished work of Jesus Christ it is a legal fact that can’t be altered that I / we belong to the family of God. As a legal fact nothing can change that.

Our faith in Jesus Christ holds on to that Adoption just as it holds on to our Justification. Faith in Christ is the key that upon regeneration unlocks all these blessings.

It is interesting that the moment Paul talks about faith in Jesus Christ he immediately turns to Baptism thus joining at the hip again faith and baptism. Faith and Baptism have the closest possible relation. This faith that Paul talks about has as its badge of identity in baptism. Baptism is God’s sign and seal – His token that bespeaks the presence of faith.

So, intimately bound up is Baptism with faith that Paul can say that all of you that have been Baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. This is yet another objective category statement. Being baptized we have legally identified with Christ. Having been identified with Christ there is no need to go back to those ceremonial laws that the Judaizers wanted to press on the Gentiles. There is no need to run back to the ceremonial law for help with salvation. Instead we have but to look to Christ … look to our Baptism which proclaims Christ … remind ourselves of the faith that was given us as a gift of God.

We should mention here… and I mention this as a self-described theonomist that this is one of the dangers of some versions of theonomy. There is such a high regard for God’s law that it becomes a low regard for Christ. Theonomy if not built with guard rails can become a Judaizing error.

Next, with the mentioning of Sons of God we should briefly remind ourselves of the antithesis this implies along with the concept of adoption and baptism.

Either you are Sons of God or you are not. If you are not you are sons of your father the devil and so are Christ haters. It does not matter how civil, how nice, or how polite you are. If you are not Sons of God through faith in Christ God is opposed to you. Opposed to you every single day and with every single breath. This is what the Scriptures teach and this is what our Heidleberg catechism teaches,

God is terribly displeased with our inborn as well as our actual sins, and will punish them in just judgment in time and eternity, as he has declared: Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them (Deut. 27:26).

This is God’s attitude towards all those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ … towards all Christ haters. He is not a neutral God. He is a God who is either all in for His people as His Sons or He is all in as opposed to those who oppose Him. God is angular and will never be made smooth.

But the Gospel commands all men everywhere to repent and have faith and be Baptized and so clothe yourself with Christ. God commands…. will you not give up on your life of weariness characterized by a heavy laden-ness that no man should bear and look to Christ and so become a Son of God? God commands you to give up on gnawing on the vile and unseemly ends of your pathetic selfish life and come to Him to have life and life abundantly. Why would you ever rebel against such a life-giving command?

St. Paul then moves on in vs. 28 he demonstrates that regardless of very real distinctions that exist in their lives when it comes to this matter of Sonship – which is the subject at hand – there are no exceptions. Jews, Greeks, Slaves, Freeman, Men and Women are all alike Sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ … all who have clothed themselves with Christ in Baptism are Sons of God. When it comes to the issues of justification and adoption the ground at the Cross is level. Nobody has more status when it comes to being Sons of God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

This needed to be said because these Judaizers that the Apostle is contending with had a natural tendency to think of themselves as having a leg up on the Gentiles when it came to this business of being sons of God.

Something we need to realize though is that this text is very specific in the subject matter of which it treats. It is dealing with the issue of how the ground at the Cross is level when it comes to becoming Sons of God. It is not teaching a vapid egalitarianism. We know this if only by the fact that God gave Elders and Pastors to the Church as leaders for the Church. This teaches that there is such a thing as godly hierarchy and that even in the Church. Galatians 3:28 or its parallel passage Colossians 3:11 in no way teaches social egalitarianism.

We pause this morning to give more consideration to Gal. 3:28, if only because this text has become the center of a firestorm in the life of the contemporary Western Church.

In the last few decades, vs. 28 has been appealed to in order to legitimize the understanding that traditional, and heretofore thought to be Biblical role distinctions between men and women, both in the home and in the Church, are invalid, improper, and wrong.

It has been appealed to in such a fashion as to suggest that once people are converted all their creaturely distinctions are destroyed so that in becoming a son of God grace destroys nature. According to this Anabaptist type reasoning, the Church is the one place where enlightenment egalitarianism should be pursued.

Vs. 28 is appealed to as being the text that informs us that as Christians a new social order has dawned that sloughs off the consequences of the fall, which includes the consequence of Male headship in the home and in the Church. Those who make this appeal reason backwards from Galatians 3:28 to suggest that in the creation order and before the fall there was no notion of male headship and it is only with the fall and sin coming into the created order — they reason — that we find male headship. Put concisely, this ‘evangelical’ feminism argues that male headship is a consequence of sin that is reversed in Church and home (and culture where Christ’s rule sways) with the coming of Christ’s Kingdom. Galatians 3:28 is seen as a hermeneutical North star for many in the ‘Evangelical’ feminist camp. This text becomes the healing astringent that all other texts that deal with male and female relationships must be read through since it provides the constant that corrects all the other cultural relative situations with which all other New Testament texts are putatively infected.

We want to note that while this is an interesting and even innovative argument it hopelessly shipwrecks and splinters upon several significant boulders of reality.

First, there is the boulder that up until recently in Church history, no known major Church Theologian outside the Anabaptist camp read Galatians 3:28 in such a way as to suggest that because of the advent of Christ and the arrival of His Kingdom what arrives is this idea of an egalitarian social order that flattens out of all authority (Male and Female), class (Slave and Free), and ethnic (Jew and Gentile) distinctions. What we see then is that the recent hailing of Galatians 3:28 as the text of social egalitarianism is unique and has no historical legs upon which to stand.

Now, we must admit that it is possible that 2000 years of Church history got this text all wrong and further missed the egalitarian New Testament theology that it teaches. Further, we must concede that there may yet be found some Church Theologians in history who read Galatians 3:28 the way that it is being read today. Still, one would think that this lack of clear precedent would cause people to go slow on embracing Galatians 3:28 in a way that no Church Theologian in history, except for the Anabaptists, that we know of has ever embraced it.

Instead, we read from the Fathers quotes like this,

Difference of race or condition or sex is indeed taken away by the unity of faith, but it remains embedded in our mortal interactions, and in the journey of this life the apostles themselves teach that it is to be respected, and they even proposed living in accord with the racial differences between Jews and Greeks as a wholesome rule.

St. Augustine on Galatians 3:28

Regarding our eternal salvation, it is true that one must not distinguish between man and woman, or between king and a shepherd, or between a German and a Frenchman. Regarding policy, however, we have what St. Paul declares here; for our, Lord Jesus Christ did not come to mix up nature, or to abolish what belongs to the preservation of decency and peace among us….Regarding the kingdom of God (which is spiritual) there is no distinction or difference between man and woman, servant and master, poor and rich, great and small. Nevertheless, there does have to be some order among us, and Jesus Christ did not mean to eliminate it, as some flighty and scatterbrained dreamers [believe].”

John Calvin (Sermon on 1 Corinthians 11:2-3)

Second, there is the boulder of the rest of the New Testament Scripture. If it were the case that the Kingdom of Christ eliminates the idea of gender roles, class roles, and ethnic roles we would expect to find a consistent testimony to that end in the NT record, and yet quite to the contrary we find the opposite testimony. The New Testament retains distinction between male and female in Godly homes in passages like I Cor. 11:1-16, 14:34, I Tim. 2:11-14, Ephesians 5:22f, and I Pt. 3:1f. The New Testament retains distinctions between Jew and Gentile in passages like Romans 9-11 where the discussion centers on how Israel will be saved vis-à-vis the Gentiles and retains distinctions between nations that are inferior in some way from other nations (Titus 1:12). The New Testament retains distinctions between Slave and Free in passages like Philemon, Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22-4:1, and I Timothy 6:1-2. There is simply no way that a fair-minded person can read the New Testament and conclude that it teaches some kind of social egalitarianism. Everywhere on the New Testament pages is the reality of gender, ethnic, and class distinctions and not in the sense that these distinctions are automatically evil.

Third, there is the boulder of the whole context of Galatians 3. From what we have seen as we have together worked through Galatians 3 the labor of the Apostle in this book is in no way connected to the issue of gender, labor or ethnic roles. Rather the issue in Galatians is how it is that Gentiles do not need to become Jews in order to become Christians. The issue is the freedom that the Gentiles have in Christ quite apart from the desire of the Judaizers to foist upon the Galatians Jewish old Testament covenantal boundary markers that are obsolete because of the finished work of Christ. Galatians speaks up the completely gracious character of God’s salvation. To suddenly come upon vs. 28 and insist that it is the interpretive key that unlocks the revolutionary egalitarian nature of the Kingdom of God is to do egregious violence to the whole text of Galatians. Interpretively, such action is hermeneutical manslaughter.

Context is central in this matter. If I walk into a closed room and see and a 55 year old man hugging and kissing an 18 year old I need context in order to understand what is happening. It may be the case that this is a pervert that is forcing himself upon some young lady in which case I have need to come to her rescue. It may be the case that this is a May — December Marriage in which case I may need to tell them to get a room. And it may be the case that he is her grandfather and he is trying to console her over some kind of loss in which case I should shut the door and mind my own business. Context means everything.

What egalitarians do with Galatians 3:28 in order to support the idea that with the advent of the Gospel role distinctions are eliminated is the same as happening upon a May December Marriage and concluding that the gentlemen needs to be hauled off to jail. ‘Evangelical’ feminists in appealing to Galatians 3:28 in order to support their agenda are contextually challenged. Context means everything and the context of Galatians 3:28 has nothing to do with the elimination of gender, class, or ethnic distinctions that continue to exist in the Kingdom.

John Piper offers here that ,

The context of Galatians 3:28 makes abundantly clear the sense in which men and women are equal in Christ: they are equally justified by faith (v. 24), equally free from the bondage of legalism (v. 25), equally children of God (v. 26), equally clothed with Christ (v. 27), equally possessed by Christ (v. 29), and equally heirs of the promises to Abraham (v. 29).

I would only add that the same is true of Masters and Slaves and Jews and Gentiles.

Galatians 3:28 does nothing to overturn the Historical and Biblical categories that maintain social differences between different people. Now, to be sure Galatians 3:28 does eliminate things like hatred of the brethren that are different from us, precisely because we are all in Christ and are all children of God. The historical hatred of Jew for Gentile, the historical maltreatment of Master over slave, the historical abuse of men upon women was never God’s design but with the advent of Christ and with the bringing in of all these different relationships into the Church the former animosity between these groups is vanquished. BUT saying that former animosity is vanquished and saying that all are now equal in role is to say very different things.

With the advent of Christ and the presence of His Kingdom what the leaven of the Gospel works through home, church, and culture is not the elimination and flattening out of the richness of the varied social tapestry that constitutes life but rather the putting right of the social tapestry that was rent by the fall. With the extension of the Kingdom of Christ what we should expect to find is neither a gender blender society, nor a society where labor and capital distinctions are gathered up into some kind of socialistic nirvana, nor a society where ethnic or racial distinctions are effaced. With the extension of the Kingdom of Christ we should anticipate the restoration of true masculinity and femininity is on display in marriages where incredibly intelligent wives eagerly submit to incredibly humble husbands, who are in a haste to love their wives sacrificially. With the extension of the Kingdom of Christ we should anticipate a renewed harmony of interests between Master and Slave where each realizes that their own interests are best served by looking out for the interest of the other. With the extension of the Kingdom of Christ we should anticipate the different nations (ethnos) being brought into the Kingdom so that on that last day they will enter into the new Jerusalem nation by nation so that what is heard is the beautiful harmony of a multi-part Choir where every still distinct tribe, tongue and nation render praise unto the King of Kings. The extension of the Kingdom of Christ does not result in a situation where all the ‘colors bleed into one.’ That is a socialistic humanistic vision. The extension of the Kingdom of Christ results in the old Puritan notion of the ‘harmony of interests.’

Returning to our boulders we must mention one last boulder that the ship of hermeneutical feminism crashes against as it seeks to twist Galatians 3:28 to its end. The last boulder is that the reading that ‘Evangelical’ Feminism is trying to use for Galatians 3:28 proves too much. If it really is the case that social order distinctions are eliminated in Christ, including that of maleness and femaleness then the Church has little room left to oppose homosexuality in the Church. If Galatians 3:28 teaches that there is no longer male or female in Christ, and if that means that traditional distinctions between men and women no longer exist because of Christ’s Kingdom, then how can we maintain that sexual distinctions are an exception? More then that if the presence of Christ’s Kingdom provides the kind of egalitarianism that these hermeneutical wizards insist upon then where is the room for parental authority over children? If children are equal to parents because they are all in Christ then on what basis can parents require obedience? If that reductio sounds stupid it is supposed to. The only reason that otherwise normal people no longer find the reasoning of ‘Evangelical’ feminists to be equally stupid when it comes to their egalitarian appeals is because we have slowly been conditioned to accept it. In this culture and in the Western Church I may have to live with it but I don’t accept it.

There remain functional differences between gender, labor and ethnic categories. We all are ontologically human but functionally speaking there remains God honoring differences. We all have the same value before God, all being made in God’s image, but just as in a choir both the mezzo Soprano and the Alto are ontologically human, they remain functionally separated. Both of their functions are needed for a good choir and are to be esteemed in their place. A good choir doesn’t get better by making every one sing the same bland part. The same kind of thing is true when it comes to the insipid blandness that is being reached for in terms of male and female, slave and free, Jew and Gentile by the egalitarians among us.

Now returning to Galatians 3:28 we may ask ourselves why the Apostle chooses the three couplets of ‘male – female, slave and free, Jew and Gentile?

Of course we can’t say authoritatively because the text doesn’t authoritatively say but we perhaps can make a pretty good guess. The answer may be very much in keeping with the context that is going on here.

In vs. 29 the Church is reminded that they are ‘heirs according to the promise.’ Now in order to be an heir their must be an inheritance and quite obviously that inheritance is all the blessings that we have in Christ Jesus. In choosing the couplets that he chooses the Holy Spirit may be intimating the superior character of the new and better covenant as opposed to the old and worse covenant. Under the Old Testament law, Greeks, slaves, and females could not inherit land and property directly. These were restricted in the life of the old covenant. However in the New and better covenant the anti-type inheritance has come to which the inheritance of land and property in the OT was only a type, and it comes in such a way that people from every tribe, tongue, nation, class, gender, and economic strata can directly inherit. The inheritance cocoon that was the Old covenant produces a butterfly inheritance that is beyond and above what anybody in the Old covenant could have anticipated. No boundaries are erected to the inheritance of salvation. All may inherit. All may become sons of God.

And the effect of the fullness of that inheritance coming to more and more people including the renewal that is part of it is not an ugly egalitarianism where all distinction and diversity is crushed. That can only be some kind of Unitarian vision where the singleness and unitary character of God produces a bland and unitary character of culture. No, the Trinitarian Christian vision is that the effect of the inheritance coming to more and more people makes for a renewal where people in their different God honoring roles and places work increasingly together to advance the Glory of God by honoring God in the places and roles to which they have been placed and called.