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Thread: An Advocation of Government

  1. #136
    Silver Member JudgeRightly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drbrumley View Post
    Let's not let this important topic fall by the wayside

    Sent from my SM-G920V using TOL mobile app
    Quote Originally Posted by drbrumley View Post
    Oh well, it was a nice topic while it lasted...
    I apologize, I've been busy with work and haven't felt like responding when I did have enough time to reply. I will get to your points as soon, I do want to continue along your line of thought.

  2. #137
    TOL Legend drbrumley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudgeRightly View Post
    I apologize, I've been busy with work and haven't felt like responding when I did have enough time to reply. I will get to your points as soon, I do want to continue along your line of thought.
    Ok, look forward to it....
    Contrary to what many Americans seem to think, the document we now call "the Constitution" and the Declaration of Independence are not pretty much the same thing or "connected in spirit," or "two sides of the same coin." The two documents were written by two different groups of people at two different times to accomplish two totally different goals.

  3. #138
    Silver Member JudgeRightly's Avatar
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    Here is my response, finally...

    Quote Originally Posted by drbrumley View Post
    The latter.

    A human king? No. God as King, absolutely....

    This passage is a fulfillment of the Deut. passage. The Deut. passage doesn't say this is God's wish.....
    By the way... what Deuteronomy passage are you referring to? Deuteronomy 17:14-20?

    Quote Originally Posted by JudgeRightly View Post
    So God wasn't planning on establishing the Davidic throne in Jerusalem through which (Matthew 1:1) the Messiah brought Salvation, as God said to David, “I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body"[v12] [i.e. Christ, vv17-18] (Psalm 132)?
    Quote Originally Posted by drbrumley View Post
    God can and does work thru the sinfulness of man to accomplish His goals...
    Of course He does. That usually means that He has goals He wants to accomplish before he implements his plans.

    I seem to have read that God also picked Saul first.....David would have never been in the picture if it wasn't for Saul's rebellion. But that's another issue.
    And why was Saul picked? Because Israel wanted a king one generation before God had planned to give them one. About how many years were there between David's reign and Christ's ministry? Well, David captures Jerusalem in 1003 BC, almost exactly 1000 years before Christ was born in 4 BC.

    Saul, on the other hand, began his reign in 1052 BC.

    Is God's timing perfect, or at the very least, extremely accurate?

    Which seems more like God's timing: 1049 years or 1000 years (+/- less than 1year)?

    Considering that, does it seem more likely that Israel wanted a king one generation before God had planned?

    And if so, it brings up the question, when did God plan for Israel to have an earthly king? Well, most likely before He created the universe, but didn't reveal that plan until Deuteronomy 17:14-20, when He gave the laws that a king ruling over Israel should abide by.

    In fact, Moses tells them quite explicitly that they will want a king, and will have one appointed after they reach the promised land. He even says that God will choose one for them.

    “When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.“Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes,that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel. - Deuteronomy 17:14-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...0&version=NKJV

    Now, when you read that passage, what is the overall idea?

    It's quite clear that God was setting up the laws for a king to follow when he rules over Israel. Now, if God regulates something, does that inherently say that it is allowed? Yes, it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by drbrumley View Post
    Deuteronomy 17:14*When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15*thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. 16*But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. 17*Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. 18*And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 19*and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 20*that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

    corresponds to this

    1st Samuel 8:

    1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
    4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.10
    And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.13 And he will take your daughters to be
    confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work.17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
    22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king.

    It lines up perfectly!!!!
    It certainly has similarities. But you're not getting the gist of what each passage is saying, and because of that, you don't see that the meaning of each is completely different. Is Saul the one God wanted to be king over Israel? No, the passage in 1 Samuel 8 just shows that Israel, as usual, and once again, is rejecting God's timing, whereas the passage in Deuteronomy 17 shows that God is setting up the foundation for a king to rule.

    He tells Samuel that "they have not rejected [Samuel], but they have rejected [God]."

    What happens when people don't wait on God's timing? Usually they get into trouble. What happened with Saul? He started out righteous, and became extremely wicked, and brought the nation with him, yet had they waited just one more generation, God would have given them a righteous king, one whom God loved, who was righteous in God's eyes. How much better off would they have been had they waited for God to make His move instead of demanding something from Him before he's ready to give them it?

    ----

    God established the Davidic throne in Jerusalem, through which the Messiah brought salvation. For "... unto us a Child is born... and the government will be upon [Him] ... upon the throne of David." [Isaiah 9] Notice how it says "throne of David" and not "throne of Saul"? As God said to David, "I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body [Christ, verses 17-18]" [Psalm 132].
    "For God is my King from of old, working salvation" [Psalm 74:12]. 'From of old' means from the past, or since a long time ago.
    From of old, by an ancient plan, "the Lord God will give [Jesus] the throne of His father David" [Luke 1:32].
    David himself knew that of the fruit of his body God "would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne" [Acts 2:30]

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  5. #139
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    Establishment of Religion

    While I rarely weigh in on political matters (the reason being in what follows given the contention that often arises), some thoughts that come to mind, in no particular order...

    Some background:
    Spoiler

    From the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 23:

    I. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates, to be, under him, over the people, for his own glory, and the public good: and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defense and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evildoers. (Rom. 13:1-4, 1 Pet. 2:13-14)

    II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto: (Prov. 8:15-16, Rom. 13:1-2, 4) in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth; (Ps. 2:10-12, 1 Tim. 2:2, Ps. 82:3-4, 2 Sam. 23:3, 1 Pet. 2:13) so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the new testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion. (Luke 3:14, Rom. 13:4, Matt. 8:9-10, Acts 10:1-2, Rev. 17:14, 16)

    The establishment principle (to be defined later below), as described in the original WCF 23 at section III:

    III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven (2 Chron. 26:18 with Matthew 18:17 and Mathew 16:19; 1 Cor. 12:28,29; Eph. 4:11,12; 1 Cor. 4:1,2; Rom. 10:15; Heb. 5:4): yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed (Isa. 49:23; Ps. 122:9; Ezra 7:23,25-28; Lev. 24:16; Deut. 13:5,6,12; 2 Kings 18:4; 1 Chron. 13:1-9; 2 Kings 23:1-26; 2 Chron. 34:33; 2 Chron. 15:12,13). For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God (2 Chron. 14:8-11; 2 Chron. 29 and 30; Mt. 2:4,5).

    And the last section of WCF 23 for completeness:

    IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, (1 Tim. 2:1-2) to honour their persons, (1 Pet. 2:17) to pay them tribute or other dues, (Rom. 13:6-7) to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience’ sake. (Rom. 13:5, Tit. 3:1) Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrates’ just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to them: (1 Pet. 2:13-14, 16) from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted, (Rom. 13:1, 1 Kings 2:35, Acts 25:9-11, 2 Pet. 2:1, 10-11, Jude 8-11) much less hath the Pope any power and jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and, least of all, to deprive them of their dominions, or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretence whatsoever. (2 Thess. 2:4, Rev. 13:15-17)

    In the course of history, Presbyterianism formally began in the new world (North America) in 1706 with the establishment of the first presbytery in Philadelphia. By the end of the century America was formed as a new nation and various denominations, including the Presbyterian Church, separated from the ecclesiastical authorities in Europe. In 1789 the first General Assembly convened in Philadelphia and formed the Presbyterian Church in the USA. At this assembly chapter twenty-three of the Westminster Confession of Faith was revised, reflecting the new religious politics that intended to keep distinct the role of the state and the church. WCF 23:3 was revised to read:

    WCF 23.3 (American revision):
    Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith. Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sacred functions, without violence or danger. And, as Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief. It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretense of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance.


    In the WCF Chapter 23 it is taught that the civil magistrate has authority to take order that all the ordinances of God be duly settled, administrated, and observed. Confessional Presbyterians base their constitution on the attainments of the second reformation period, sometimes called the covenanted work of reformation. It was in this context that the work of the Westminster Assembly was accomplished. The Westminster Assembly was called into existence and acted under the direction of the Long Parliament. Its accomplishments are not merely a legacy of reformation, but a platform for biblical church unity.

    The revision of WCF 23:3 shown in the Spoiler above reflects the principles of an early American nation established without an official state church, like the Church of England. Sadly, this revision charges the civil magistrates to not give any preference to any Christian denomination. Furthermore, the responsibility of the civil magistrate is to protect all their citizens regardless of their religious affiliation. This is quite different then the seventeenth-century version of the WCF that instructs civil magistrates that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed (Isa. 49:23; Ps. 122:9; Ezra 7:23,25-28; Lev. 24:16; Deut. 13:5,6,12; 2 Kings 18:4; 1 Chron. 13:1-9; 2 Kings 23:1-26; 2 Chron. 34:33; 2 Chron. 15:12,13).

    The discussion of WCF Chapter 23 sooner or later comes around to the topic of establishmentarianism.

    What exactly is the establishment principle that establishmentarians (like myself) hold to?

    The Establishment Principle maintains the scriptural view of the universal supremacy of Christ as King of Nations as well as King of saints, with the consequent duty of nations as such, and civil rulers in their official capacity, to honor and serve Him by recognizing His truth and promoting His cause. Quite simply, it is the duty of the magistrate to uphold both tables of the law.

    More random thoughts...

    God sets up governments, and removes them. God decides when a magistrate has lost his right to govern. Individual subjects don't compare his conduct to a code, and then decide if he be any more a governor. Rebels should be very sure of their success, because God will exercise an exacting standard when He judges their conduct.

    It might be worth considering that we live and work under the lesser magistrate (sheriffs, police chiefs, mayors, even governors) doctrine every day. Democracy is a bloodless revolution. The principle of revolution is ingrained in the fabric of the system. It is backed by the exercise of the sword against domestic and foreign enemies on a day to day basis. So successful is the exercise of this sword that the general public rarely have to see it in action or consider its work of blood. Moreover, we live in a church establishment which allows us to meet in public and to profess Christianity under the protection of the law, and this establishment upholds the doctrine of the lesser magistrate.

    People today do not seem to understand how our peaceful societies of law and order are indebted to the principles of the magisterial reformation. They take up a pacifist position because they assume upon their liberties as entitlements and do not perceive the sacrifices which have been made to secure them.

    If one says that God establishes the right of fathers, this will require an adjustment of civil power in the direction of constitutional rights, which is Lex Rex. So then it becomes a question, What is the source of law which regulates constitutional rights? The answer to that question brings us into the realm of religion.

    Establishment of religion is a fact. The only question is whether the establishment is based on true or false religion. The establishment principle is Reformed. Those who reject it are not. Who decides what is Reformed? Not those who reject the establishment principle. Those who reject the establishment principle seek to redefine Reformed faith and life, and thereby place themselves outside the Reformed tradition. Should clarification be asked, I qualify that it is specifically on the issue of Church and State. But whether a man hits his golf ball out of bounds by an inch or a hundred feet makes no alteration to the fact that his ball is out of bounds and he has no right to redefine the golf course in order to call his ball in play.

    May God give particular Christians, called to exercise some degree of secular rule, the wisdom to do their governing labor as unto the Lord, as a Christian magistrate should. But I believe we are a long ways off from seeing a groundswell of public interest in a Christian-magistracy.

    Consider the absolute:
    "Any deviation from God's Law relinquishes the magistrates right to govern."

    It is a true statement. But, deviations from the law do not remove legitimacy of government. It is when the government moves itself outside the boundaries of law so that its abuses cannot be redressed that it opens itself up to lawful revolutionary action on the part of inferior magistrates.

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  7. #140
    TOL Legend drbrumley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudgeRightly View Post
    Here is my response, finally...



    By the way... what Deuteronomy passage are you referring to? Deuteronomy 17:14-20?





    Of course He does. That usually means that He has goals He wants to accomplish before he implements his plans.



    And why was Saul picked? Because Israel wanted a king one generation before God had planned to give them one. About how many years were there between David's reign and Christ's ministry? Well, David captures Jerusalem in 1003 BC, almost exactly 1000 years before Christ was born in 4 BC.

    Saul, on the other hand, began his reign in 1052 BC.

    Is God's timing perfect, or at the very least, extremely accurate?

    Which seems more like God's timing: 1049 years or 1000 years (+/- less than 1year)?

    Considering that, does it seem more likely that Israel wanted a king one generation before God had planned?

    And if so, it brings up the question, when did God plan for Israel to have an earthly king? Well, most likely before He created the universe, but didn't reveal that plan until Deuteronomy 17:14-20, when He gave the laws that a king ruling over Israel should abide by.

    In fact, Moses tells them quite explicitly that they will want a king, and will have one appointed after they reach the promised land. He even says that God will choose one for them.

    “When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.“Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes,that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel. - Deuteronomy 17:14-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...0&version=NKJV

    Now, when you read that passage, what is the overall idea?

    It's quite clear that God was setting up the laws for a king to follow when he rules over Israel. Now, if God regulates something, does that inherently say that it is allowed? Yes, it does.



    It certainly has similarities. But you're not getting the gist of what each passage is saying, and because of that, you don't see that the meaning of each is completely different. Is Saul the one God wanted to be king over Israel? No, the passage in 1 Samuel 8 just shows that Israel, as usual, and once again, is rejecting God's timing, whereas the passage in Deuteronomy 17 shows that God is setting up the foundation for a king to rule.

    He tells Samuel that "they have not rejected [Samuel], but they have rejected [God]."

    What happens when people don't wait on God's timing? Usually they get into trouble. What happened with Saul? He started out righteous, and became extremely wicked, and brought the nation with him, yet had they waited just one more generation, God would have given them a righteous king, one whom God loved, who was righteous in God's eyes. How much better off would they have been had they waited for God to make His move instead of demanding something from Him before he's ready to give them it?

    ----

    God established the Davidic throne in Jerusalem, through which the Messiah brought salvation. For "... unto us a Child is born... and the government will be upon [Him] ... upon the throne of David." [Isaiah 9] Notice how it says "throne of David" and not "throne of Saul"? As God said to David, "I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body [Christ, verses 17-18]" [Psalm 132].
    "For God is my King from of old, working salvation" [Psalm 74:12]. 'From of old' means from the past, or since a long time ago.
    From of old, by an ancient plan, "the Lord God will give [Jesus] the throne of His father David" [Luke 1:32].
    David himself knew that of the fruit of his body God "would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne" [Acts 2:30]
    Thank you for the reply....let me dwell on it and I will get back to it...
    Contrary to what many Americans seem to think, the document we now call "the Constitution" and the Declaration of Independence are not pretty much the same thing or "connected in spirit," or "two sides of the same coin." The two documents were written by two different groups of people at two different times to accomplish two totally different goals.

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  9. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post
    While I rarely weigh in on political matters (the reason being in what follows given the contention that often arises), some thoughts that come to mind, in no particular order...

    Some background:
    Spoiler

    From the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 23:

    I. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates, to be, under him, over the people, for his own glory, and the public good: and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defense and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evildoers. (Rom. 13:1-4, 1 Pet. 2:13-14)

    II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto: (Prov. 8:15-16, Rom. 13:1-2, 4) in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth; (Ps. 2:10-12, 1 Tim. 2:2, Ps. 82:3-4, 2 Sam. 23:3, 1 Pet. 2:13) so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the new testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion. (Luke 3:14, Rom. 13:4, Matt. 8:9-10, Acts 10:1-2, Rev. 17:14, 16)

    The establishment principle (to be defined later below), as described in the original WCF 23 at section III:

    III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven (2 Chron. 26:18 with Matthew 18:17 and Mathew 16:19; 1 Cor. 12:28,29; Eph. 4:11,12; 1 Cor. 4:1,2; Rom. 10:15; Heb. 5:4): yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed (Isa. 49:23; Ps. 122:9; Ezra 7:23,25-28; Lev. 24:16; Deut. 13:5,6,12; 2 Kings 18:4; 1 Chron. 13:1-9; 2 Kings 23:1-26; 2 Chron. 34:33; 2 Chron. 15:12,13). For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God (2 Chron. 14:8-11; 2 Chron. 29 and 30; Mt. 2:4,5).

    And the last section of WCF 23 for completeness:

    IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, (1 Tim. 2:1-2) to honour their persons, (1 Pet. 2:17) to pay them tribute or other dues, (Rom. 13:6-7) to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience’ sake. (Rom. 13:5, Tit. 3:1) Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrates’ just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to them: (1 Pet. 2:13-14, 16) from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted, (Rom. 13:1, 1 Kings 2:35, Acts 25:9-11, 2 Pet. 2:1, 10-11, Jude 8-11) much less hath the Pope any power and jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and, least of all, to deprive them of their dominions, or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretence whatsoever. (2 Thess. 2:4, Rev. 13:15-17)

    In the course of history, Presbyterianism formally began in the new world (North America) in 1706 with the establishment of the first presbytery in Philadelphia. By the end of the century America was formed as a new nation and various denominations, including the Presbyterian Church, separated from the ecclesiastical authorities in Europe. In 1789 the first General Assembly convened in Philadelphia and formed the Presbyterian Church in the USA. At this assembly chapter twenty-three of the Westminster Confession of Faith was revised, reflecting the new religious politics that intended to keep distinct the role of the state and the church. WCF 23:3 was revised to read:

    WCF 23.3 (American revision):
    Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith. Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sacred functions, without violence or danger. And, as Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief. It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretense of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance.


    In the WCF Chapter 23 it is taught that the civil magistrate has authority to take order that all the ordinances of God be duly settled, administrated, and observed. Confessional Presbyterians base their constitution on the attainments of the second reformation period, sometimes called the covenanted work of reformation. It was in this context that the work of the Westminster Assembly was accomplished. The Westminster Assembly was called into existence and acted under the direction of the Long Parliament. Its accomplishments are not merely a legacy of reformation, but a platform for biblical church unity.

    The revision of WCF 23:3 shown in the Spoiler above reflects the principles of an early American nation established without an official state church, like the Church of England. Sadly, this revision charges the civil magistrates to not give any preference to any Christian denomination. Furthermore, the responsibility of the civil magistrate is to protect all their citizens regardless of their religious affiliation. This is quite different then the seventeenth-century version of the WCF that instructs civil magistrates that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed (Isa. 49:23; Ps. 122:9; Ezra 7:23,25-28; Lev. 24:16; Deut. 13:5,6,12; 2 Kings 18:4; 1 Chron. 13:1-9; 2 Kings 23:1-26; 2 Chron. 34:33; 2 Chron. 15:12,13).

    The discussion of WCF Chapter 23 sooner or later comes around to the topic of establishmentarianism.

    What exactly is the establishment principle that establishmentarians (like myself) hold to?

    The Establishment Principle maintains the scriptural view of the universal supremacy of Christ as King of Nations as well as King of saints, with the consequent duty of nations as such, and civil rulers in their official capacity, to honor and serve Him by recognizing His truth and promoting His cause. Quite simply, it is the duty of the magistrate to uphold both tables of the law.

    More random thoughts...

    God sets up governments, and removes them. God decides when a magistrate has lost his right to govern. Individual subjects don't compare his conduct to a code, and then decide if he be any more a governor. Rebels should be very sure of their success, because God will exercise an exacting standard when He judges their conduct.

    It might be worth considering that we live and work under the lesser magistrate (sheriffs, police chiefs, mayors, even governors) doctrine every day. Democracy is a bloodless revolution. The principle of revolution is ingrained in the fabric of the system. It is backed by the exercise of the sword against domestic and foreign enemies on a day to day basis. So successful is the exercise of this sword that the general public rarely have to see it in action or consider its work of blood. Moreover, we live in a church establishment which allows us to meet in public and to profess Christianity under the protection of the law, and this establishment upholds the doctrine of the lesser magistrate.

    People today do not seem to understand how our peaceful societies of law and order are indebted to the principles of the magisterial reformation. They take up a pacifist position because they assume upon their liberties as entitlements and do not perceive the sacrifices which have been made to secure them.

    If one says that God establishes the right of fathers, this will require an adjustment of civil power in the direction of constitutional rights, which is Lex Rex. So then it becomes a question, What is the source of law which regulates constitutional rights? The answer to that question brings us into the realm of religion.

    Establishment of religion is a fact. The only question is whether the establishment is based on true or false religion. The establishment principle is Reformed. Those who reject it are not. Who decides what is Reformed? Not those who reject the establishment principle. Those who reject the establishment principle seek to redefine Reformed faith and life, and thereby place themselves outside the Reformed tradition. Should clarification be asked, I qualify that it is specifically on the issue of Church and State. But whether a man hits his golf ball out of bounds by an inch or a hundred feet makes no alteration to the fact that his ball is out of bounds and he has no right to redefine the golf course in order to call his ball in play.

    May God give particular Christians, called to exercise some degree of secular rule, the wisdom to do their governing labor as unto the Lord, as a Christian magistrate should. But I believe we are a long ways off from seeing a groundswell of public interest in a Christian-magistracy.

    Consider the absolute:
    "Any deviation from God's Law relinquishes the magistrates right to govern."

    It is a true statement. But, deviations from the law do not remove legitimacy of government. It is when the government moves itself outside the boundaries of law so that its abuses cannot be redressed that it opens itself up to lawful revolutionary action on the part of inferior magistrates.

    AMR
    Thank you for your reply as well....much up for consideration
    Contrary to what many Americans seem to think, the document we now call "the Constitution" and the Declaration of Independence are not pretty much the same thing or "connected in spirit," or "two sides of the same coin." The two documents were written by two different groups of people at two different times to accomplish two totally different goals.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to drbrumley For Your Post:

    Ask Mr. Religion (August 10th, 2017)

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    Silver Member JudgeRightly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aCultureWarrior View Post
    Originally Posted by aCultureWarrior
    Yet American citizens "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..."

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.



    Borrowing off of an already great document are you? Where's your originality?
    By the way, all of the rights found in the proposed Constitution are derived from Scripture, not our current Constitution.

    Just thought I'd mention that.

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    LIFETIME MEMBER aCultureWarrior's Avatar
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    Quote: Originally posted by aCultureWarrior
    That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government,

    Quote Originally Posted by JudgeRightly View Post
    Except they don't have that right. They have the right (and responsibility) to obey God rather than man, and civil disobedience when the government commands it's citizens to do evil, but the people do not have the right to rebel against the authorities. This is rather explicitly stated in Romans:

    Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil...
    Thanks for acknowledging what God expects of civil leaders. I must have missed where He doesn't approve of overthrowing evil governments.

    What does the Bible say about war?
    https://www.gotquestions.org/war-Bible.html

    Quote: Originally posted by aCultureWarrior
    You do realize that in your type of government barbarians like Adolf Hitler would stay in power?

    Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany by a republic form of government, not a constitutional monarchy. By your system, people like Hitler, Hillary, and Trump, can all come into power, let alone stay in power.
    Hitler, like Donald Trump, fooled people into believing that he stood for decency and righteous laws (Hitler was backed by the Catholic Church, Trump by a few at one time reputable evangelical Christians). Someone has to appoint a civil leader, whether it be the populace through elections, or in your case the hierarchy of a state church. The Founding Fathers were wise enough to allow an evil leader to be thrown out of office, your monarchy won't allow that.

    aCW, question for you:

    Let's say you and I are at a restaurant, having a good meal, debating the topics of the day, and the busboy comes to clean the table next to us.
    My question is this: Who would lead the country better: Trump or the busboy?
    If the busboy wasn't flying a rainbow flag, didn't say that "Planned Parenthood does very good things" and didn't have a long history of perverse actions towards women, of course my answer would be the busboy. If he did, I'd find he and Donald Trump a table and they could sit together and compare notes.

    Quote: Originally posted by aCultureWarrior
    I can see it now: Sit-ins outside the Ovens at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. BTW, how's that civil disobedience working when it comes to the death of 60 million unborn babies at the hands of abortionists?

    Well, since the form of government we currently have has made it practically illegal to actively protest, not very well.
    The right to life was established in the 14th Amendment (I'll take righteous laws over sit-ins any day).

    Ted Cruz: We Can ‘Absolutely’ Outlaw Abortion Without Overturning Roe
    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/t...erturning-roe/

    Quote: Originally posted by aCultureWarrior
    There are plenty of passages and verses in the Bible showing the proper role of civil government as well as how people are supposed to deal with evil.

    Such as the one I quoted above?
    Again, God set the standard for civil government and it's rulers. Nowhere in Holy Scripture does He say that evil can't be punished.


    Quote; Originally posted by aCultureWarrior
    laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
    http://www.gemworld.com/USA-Unalienable.htm

    Yet the 3 institutions that God ordained for the governance of men (which you named above) requires that those institutions take action, not sit back idly hoping that God will intervene.

    That's all well and good, but when the institution that has authority over the other two is trying (actively) to destroy the other two, as with our current government, then there's a problem, and it's caused by the form of government.
    That's the fault of the people (many of them Christian) who sit idly back and allow it to happen. The Biblically based American form of government allows it's citizens to remove evil politicians from public office, your form of government doesn't have that checks and balances that the Constitution has.

    Quote: Originally posted by aCultureWarior
    Who should we blame for not holding our politicians up to those founding principles and not protecting our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? The people, for electing them into office.

    But then again, the majority is evil, so it's not surprising that the majority of politicians elected (by the majority) are evil.
    You're confusing a democracy with a representative republic where it's citizens rights come from God (The United States is the latter).

    Quote: Originally posted by aCultureWarrior
    Government consists of people, even in your monarchy.

    True. However, the King is the ultimate authority in the land, not the people under him.
    Tyrants scare me.

    Quote: Originally posted by aCultureWarrior
    Good God-fearing people electing and then holding government officials accountable for their actions is what at one time made America great. And has slowly degraded that government into a wicked and corrupt one. Remember what good ol' Ben Franklin said when asked by a lady if we had a republic or monarchy?

    He said, "A republic, if you can keep it."

    If you can keep it. And clearly we haven't.
    Don't get me started on apathetic Christians.

    Quote: Originally posted by aCultureWarrior
    Yet you're willing to give someone who rules against the wishes of God a free pass?

    Free pass? Do you not remember what Jesus said?
    In review: You've said that even an evil monarch couldn't be righteously overthrown and that he will eventually face God.

    That sounds a bit anarchist to me. Why put murderers, rapists and thieves on trial and punish them when they too await the judgement of God?

    Our once great nation was founded by Christians who wanted to get away from a state religion, please don't try and bring one back to this country.
    Last edited by aCultureWarrior; September 8th, 2017 at 05:27 PM.
    Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
    Galatians 4:16

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    LIFETIME MEMBER aCultureWarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudgeRightly View Post
    By the way, all of the rights found in the proposed Constitution are derived from Scripture, not our current Constitution.

    Just thought I'd mention that.
    Being that our country's founding documents are based on Holy Scripture, it looks like you're borrowing off the wisdom of our Founding Fathers without giving them credit.

    The Bible and Government

    Biblical Principles: Basis for America's Laws

    http://www.faithfacts.org/christ-and...and-government
    Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
    Galatians 4:16

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    Quote Originally Posted by drbrumley View Post
    Thank you for the reply....let me dwell on it and I will get back to it...
    Hello, drbrumley.

    Any response yet?

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