Wollebius On Relation Between Magistrate & Church — God’s Law & Civil Law

(4) Such is the government of the church. We come now to civil authority, by which the church is subject to the magistrate.


I. The magistrates are protectors [nutritii] of the church, in that they enforce both tablets of the law, protect [conservere] churches and schools, and defend the truth.

Wollebius: Compendium Theologiae Christianae as found in Reformed Dogmatics edited by John W. Beardslee p. 148

Calling of councils

I. The calling of a council is the privilege of the magistrate, if he is a believer; if he is an unbeliever, either it must be obtained by a petition, or, if he is actively hostile to a council, then as a matter of necessity it must be held with the general consensus of the church.

II. The persons who ought to be present at a council are civil and ecclesiastical presidents, clerks, suitable men chosen for the purpose…

VII. The duty of the civil president is to convene the council, to defend it after it has gathered, to prevent all violence and disorder, to promulgate the regularly adopted decrees by his authority, and to use force against those who are unwilling [to comply].

ibid. p. 149

Chapter IV: The Works Connected with the Second, Third, and Fourth Commandments in General

V. Religion ought to be the concern of everybody, but especially of magistrates and ministers. The former are indeed the guardians of the church. They are responsible, therefore, for the maintenance of churches and schools, the support of ministers, and so on.

VIII. Religion is not to be forced [upon people] but taught.

IX. Religion is not to be spread by arms, but nevertheless it is to be defended by them.
Examples are pious kings, like the Maccabees, and emperors, especially Constatine the Great and Theodosius the Great.

X. If any abuse enters religion, it is to be reformed by the prince or magistrate.
Examples are Moses, Joshua, David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, Constatine the Great, Theodosisus, etc.

ibid. 201-202

Chapter VII: The Duties Connected with the Fourth Commandment

XIV. The sanctification of the sabbath is the duty of everyone, but especially of magistrates and pastors.

The magistrate should give heed to Nehemiah’s example, lest the sabbath be persistently violated (Neh. 13:15ff.). It is also his duty to moderate the strict obersavation of this day when necessity requires, in order that considerations of love may also be effective. Examples were given by the Maccabees (I Macc. 2:41), and Constantine the Great, who permitted farm labor whenever weighty necessity required it.

ibid. 223

Johannes Wollebius – 1586-1629

Obama’s Theological Mentors

“I still regard the bible as an important source for my theological reflections but not the starting point. The black experience and the bible together in dialectic tension serve as my point of departure today and yesterday. The order is significant. I am black first and everything else comes after that. This means I read the Bible through the lens of a black tradition of struggle and not as the objective word of God. The Bible, therefore is one witness to God’s presence in human affairs along with other important testimonies….

Black theology must realize that the white Jesus has no place in the black community and it is our task to destroy him….Black theology is concerned only with the tradition of Christianity that is usable in the black liberation struggle….For to long Christ has been pictured as a blue eyed honky. Black theologians are right; we need to de-honkyify him and thus make him relevant to the black condition.”

Stephen Mansfield’s new book “The Faith Of Barack Obama”

As quoted from James Cone’s Book — Black Theology & Black Power

Several important things here.

First, as to background, Mansfield includes the quote from Jame’s Cone in his book on “The Faith of Barack Obama” because Obama’s spiritual mentor and pastor for twenty years, Jeremiah Wright channeled James Cone and his work in his preaching and ministry. Cone was instrumental in the formation of Black Liberation Theology and Wright was instrumental in popularizing Cone’s work in the church he ministered. Obama thus, at the very minimum has been deeply influenced by Black Liberation Theology. This has crept through some of the things he and his wife have said in the election cycle. Indeed, if you read some of Barack Hussein and Michelle Obama’s recent quotes against this Black Liberation Theology backdrop it is downright scary.

Second, note that for “Theologian” James Cone experience is determinative of what the Bible teaches. This stands in opposition to the idea that the Scriptures should be determinative on how we interpret our experience. Cone has prioritized himself and his experience over against the testimony of God’s Word. This is called idolatry.

Third Cone’s literary methodology is clearly post-modern and so reflects the deconstructionist school of thought. For Cone there is no objective (authorial?) word in the text. For Cone all there is, is the Black reader giving meaning to the text by breathing life into the inert Scriptures. The subjective readers gives objective life to the text. As such, the idea that the Bible serves as one witness of God in the affairs of men is reduced to meaning that the Bible serves as one witness of God in the affairs of men so long as that witness is consistent with the tradition of black struggle.

Fourth, in the last paragraph from the Cone quote above it is clear that Christianity as a religion is subservient to what it means to be black. Further, Jesus is a wax nose that can be shaped to serve the ethnic agenda of any particular people group according to Cone. To make Jesus Black is to make him the figure that justifies whatever is considered black behavior.

Fifth, it is manifestly clear that Black liberation theology does not like white people. Indeed, the purpose of Black liberation theology is to prioritize all things black over any thing not black. This is one reason why I continue to believe that if Barack Huseein Obama is elected there will be pursuit of reparations. It is difficult to understand how a Black man coming from this tradition of thought (and Obama certainly does come from this tradition) can be seriously considered a “post-racial” candidate.

Sixth, notice how Cone posits an antithesis between white people and black people. The White (Honky) Jesus has no place in the Black community and indeed the White Jesus must be destroyed. Now, what do you suppose that the attitude of a Black man, who has imbibed this kind of thinking for twenty tears, is going to be towards white people who don’t agree with him?

Knox On The Continuing Necessity To Enforce Punishment Against Idolatry

Concerning the Idolatrie of Queen Mary & the question of capital punishment

‘” What ye may,” said the uther,[Knox] “be force, I disput nocht; bot what ye may and aucht to do be God is express commandiment, that I can tell. Idolatrie aucht nocht [only] to be suppressit, but the idolater aucht to dey the deith, unless that we will accuse God.”” I knaw,” said Lethingtoun,” the idolater is commandit to dey the deith; but be whome?” “Be the peopill of God,” said the uther;” for the commandiment wes gevin to Israeli, as ye may reid, ‘Heir, Israeli,’sayis the Lorde, ‘the statutis and the ordinancis of the Lord thy God,’ &c. Yea, ane [commandement] wes gevin, That gif it be heard that idolatrie is committit in onie ane cytie, inquisitioune sal be taikin; and gif it be founde trew, that than the whole bodie of the peopill sail aryse and destroy that cytie, spairing in it nether man, woman, nor chylde.”

ibid., from yesterday’s quote — p. 441.

note that both Lethington and Knox are agreed on the continuing relevance of the punishment for idolatry, the only question is who should carry out the punishment when the idolater is the Queen of that nation.

John Edwards and Unattainable Morality

Here is something I don’t understand.

John Edwards has an affair and everybody acts like it is something to be ashamed about?

Whence this leftover Christian conscience about sexuality?

Think about it. The ubiquity of affairs and adultery in our society is legendary. Bill Clinton had several. Bob Livingston who was set to become the Speaker of the House announced during the Clinton – Lewinsky affair that he would not seek to be Speaker of the House due to his own adulterous infidelities. Newt Gingrich had an affair while he was trying to pull down Clinton for his affair and for lying about his affair. Tom Delay was involved in an adulterous affair. John McCain cheated on his wife who stood by him while he was a POW in Hanoi. John Kennedy cheated on the beautiful Jacki and Martin Luther King cheated on Coretta Scott King. Franklin Roosevelt cheated on Eleanor (after looking at pictures of Eleanor one can only have sympathy for Franklin) Warren Harding cheated on Florence King Harding, and on and on it goes. Indeed, it would probably be easier to make a list of high profile politicians who haven’t been sexually immoral.

Indeed, so prevalent is the Washington Whorehouse attitude that in 1998 during the Clinton impeachment hearings House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt said, “We need to stop destroying imperfect people at the altar of an unattainable morality.”

Clearly according to people in high places being faithful to ones spouse is a morality that is unattainable.

So if that is true, and it sure seems like it is for a great host of Americans, both in politics and not in politics, then what I want to know is why the Media believes it necessary to tells us when another high profile politician has fallen short of the unattainable morality?” To fall short of something that is by definition unattainable is hardly newsworthy.

It seems most Americans don’t see any problem in keeping time with somebody who isn’t their spouse, so why is it news when John Edwards is discovered tapping boots with a strange blond and why does anyone care?

Please allow me to answer my own question.

Somewhere in the American psyche there remains the Christian sense of right and wrong and even though many Americans cheat on their spouse they know it is wrong of them to do so and they know it is wrong when a high profile person does the same. On one level it doesn’t make any sense that adultery would disqualify anybody for anything given its prevalence, but on another level people desire their leaders to shape up to outwardly Christian norms… at least in obvious areas.

I figure though, with the passing of another generation, a high profile politician’s adultery will no longer be an item worthy of even the National Inquirer’s scrutiny. Sooner or later we are going to get consistent about this adultery thing. It would be nice if God would send Reformation so that we would be consistent by actually restraining our animal instincts and choosing to be loyal to our spouses.

Knox On Responisbility Of Her Majesty In Civil Realm

” The secound that we requyre, is punishment of horrible vices, such as ar adultery, fornicatioun, open hurdome, blasphemye, contempt of God, of his Word, and Sacramentis; quhilkis in this Realme, for lack of punishement, do evin now so abound, that syne is reputed to be no syne. And thairfoir, as that we see the present signes of God is wrath now manifestlie appear, so do we foirwarne, that he will stryck, or it be long, yf his law without punishement be permitted thus manifestlie to be contempned. Yf any object, that punishementis can nott be commanded to be executed without a parliament; We answer that the eternall God in his Parliament has pronounced death to be the punishment for adulterye and for blasphemye; whose act is yf ye putt not to executioun, (seeing that Kingis ar but his lieutennentis, having no power to geve lyefe, whair he commandis death,) as that he will reputt you, and all otheris that foster vice, patronis of impietie, so will he nott faill to punishe you for neglecting of his judgements.”

John Knox 1514-1572
[A petition ” to the Quenis Majestie, and Hir most Honourable Privey Counsall etc.”].

works of John Knox; collected and Edited by David Laing. vol.2 (Edin.1864) pp.339-340.