By Jay Rogers
Published May 2, 2008
In my defense of theonomy so far, I have alluded to the interviews with over a dozen of the leaders of theonomy in the video I produced, God’s Law and Society. I would greatly encourage readers wanting to know more about theonomy to check out this video: http://www.forerunner.com/law/law.html
You may also read the interviews on-line: http://www.forerunner.com/revolution/index.html
MAN’S LAW OR GOD’S LAW
The scriptures are clear that it is God and not man who ordains civil government. Both the Old and the New Testament speak of civil offices as being chosen of God. The civil ruler is God’s minister. The civil ruler is commanded to punish evil (Romans 13:4). By what standard will the civil ruler punish evil? Will he use “common sense” — his own idea of what is right and wrong — or will he turn to God’s Word?
A Republic is a society ruled by law rather than by men. A Christian Republic is a society ruled specifically by the Law of God. I would much rather be judged by God’s Law than by any man. I would much rather bejudged by the merciful, loving Creator of heaven and earth than by any man, however wise he may be.
Whenever we have established man as the ultimate standard, we are ultimately vulnerable to whoever is in power. That puts us in a very precarious state. To negate God’s law in favor of politics is absolutely frightening. What we are saying is that we would prefer man-made law over God’s Law.
In the history of the world, societies that adhere to biblical law are always the most free — economically, socially, culturally, and racially. If we want freedom, then we should affirm the freedom-giving standards of Almighty God.
If on the other hand, you like the standards of Stalinism, Leninism, Nazism, or Maoism, then you should defer to the wisdom of the 51 percent, or the wisdom that flows out of the barrel of a gun.
THE MYTH OF NEUTRALITY
The greatest stumbling block to the antinomian is the myth of neutrality. One of the most common objections tobringing the morality of the Bible into politics is the idea that somehow there ought to be a public square that is neither secular nor Christian, but “neutral.” Jesus addressed the issue of neutrality when He told His disciples in Matthew 12:30: “He who is not for Me is against me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” The very idea that we, as followers of Christ can peacefully coexist with a pagan world system is refuted by the Lord himself, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
Many Christian leaders prop up the idea of “neutrality in the public square.” This viewpoint expresses the essence of antinomianism: that the righteousness of one’s conduct can be divorced from the moral Law of God— or that one’s political views can be divorced from one’s theology. In truth, the only option besides a biblically based society ruled by the Law of God is a pagan society ruled by lawlessness. There is no neutral ground.
The Word of God is clear on one thing: the moral Law of God is the standard, not natural law, not pluralism, not what man thinks is right in his own eyes. The Bible provides the vast majority of laws needed to govern a society. Those it does not directly define, it addresses in principle. Although we may not always agree on interpretation, we should agree on the Law of God as the standard. We must stand for the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the totality of life.
Is there any “middle way” or neutral ground between man’s law and God’s Law? Every law is an attempt to legislate someone’s morality. Civil law must have some standard: either it is God’s Law or it is man’s law. There are no other options.
Opponents of theonomy have offered an argument which can be summarized as follows: “Jesus said, Just love God and love your neighbor.” Yet this misses the point made by Jesus. Love is the summation of the Law, not its replacement. We don’t know how to love our neighbor or love God unless we look to God’s Word to define it.
A COVENANTAL BATTLE
God has a covenantal strategy for His people to advance His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. In any war, first you need a worthy cause. Then you need to find worthy allies who willbe loyal in the fight for the long term. Then you need a workable strategy which will result in success.
The battle is a covenantal battle. It is a battle between two allegiances: those who would build a Christian Republic under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the liberal humanists who believe man is sovereign. It’s a battle between those who stand for the Law of God and those who do not. It’s a battle between Neo-Puritans and Neo-Pagans.
The battle in the Church is also a covenantal battle. It’s a battle between orthodox covenantal theology and heterodox dispensational theology. It is a battle between those who hold to a victorious ecclesiology, the Lordship of Jesus Christ over the totality of human life — and those who believe we are predestined for defeat, that the earth belongs to the devil and the Antichrist. It’s a battle between the “Confessing Church,” those who believe Jesus is Lord over all the earth in time and history — and the antinomians and liberals, those who will not confess that Jesus is Lord over all.
There are many fronts in each battle. The enemies of Christ will fight us. Others in the church will try to remain “neutral.” But we must realize from the outset that there is no neutrality. Only when we take this stance, that Christ not man is king, will we win in time and history.
Theonomy can be summarized as “rebuilding civilization upon the principles of the Bible.” Our vision is to see Christians everywhere doing all they can to take every sphere of society captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
|ROUND||Jay Rogers||Brad Finkbeiner|
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
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2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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