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RE: [Covenanted Reformation] Passive obedience v. Political Dissidence

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  • Martin D
    If you know the Covenanter position for those questions, whose position are you asking for? Try these for the Covenanter position:
    Message 1 of 19 , Aug 30 10:10 AM
      If you know the Covenanter position for those questions, whose position are
      you asking for?

      Try these for the Covenanter position:

      http://www.constitution.org/sr/lexrex.htm

      http://www.ecn.ab.ca/prce/books/bibcivgv/bibcivgv.htm

      http://www.covenanter.org/AShields/Hind/Hindletloosetitle.htm

      http://www.truecovenanter.com/shields/shields_hll_head5.html


      Martin

      >From: "Peter" <GrayPJ@...>
      >Reply-To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
      >To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [Covenanted Reformation] Passive obedience v. Political Dissidence
      >Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 15:46:55 -0000
      >
      >With the up-coming election I thought it relevent to ask some
      >questions regarding government and our duty towards it. I know the
      >Covenanter position but there are also some Christians that visit
      >this forum who believe in Passive Obedience.
      >
      >Is anyone who providentially wields power the ordinance of God?
      >What are the qualifications for divine approbation of a power?
      >What level of obedience should we show an unlawful/immoral
      >magistrate?
      >How should we oppose him? How do we dissent?
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >

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    • Peter
      I know both the Seceder (P.O.) and Covenanter (P.D.) positions but I d like to see them presented in debate. If thats OK. ... position are ... Dissidence ...
      Message 2 of 19 , Aug 30 11:47 AM
        I know both the Seceder (P.O.) and Covenanter (P.D.) positions but
        I'd like to see them presented in debate. If thats OK.

        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Martin D"
        <paleopuritan@h...> wrote:
        > If you know the Covenanter position for those questions, whose
        position are
        > you asking for?
        >
        > Try these for the Covenanter position:
        >
        > http://www.constitution.org/sr/lexrex.htm
        >
        > http://www.ecn.ab.ca/prce/books/bibcivgv/bibcivgv.htm
        >
        > http://www.covenanter.org/AShields/Hind/Hindletloosetitle.htm
        >
        > http://www.truecovenanter.com/shields/shields_hll_head5.html
        >
        >
        > Martin
        >
        > >From: "Peter" <GrayPJ@c...>
        > >Reply-To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
        > >To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
        > >Subject: [Covenanted Reformation] Passive obedience v. Political
        Dissidence
        > >Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 15:46:55 -0000
        > >
        > >With the up-coming election I thought it relevent to ask some
        > >questions regarding government and our duty towards it. I know the
        > >Covenanter position but there are also some Christians that visit
        > >this forum who believe in Passive Obedience.
        > >
        > >Is anyone who providentially wields power the ordinance of God?
        > >What are the qualifications for divine approbation of a power?
        > >What level of obedience should we show an unlawful/immoral
        > >magistrate?
        > >How should we oppose him? How do we dissent?
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        > _________________________________________________________________
        > Take advantage of powerful junk e-mail filters built on patented
        Microsoft®
        > SmartScreen Technology.
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      • Lettermen2@aol.com
        In a message dated 8/30/2004 12:14:32 PM Eastern Standard Time, GrayPJ@comcast.net writes: With the up-coming election I thought it relevent to ask some
        Message 3 of 19 , Aug 31 10:30 AM
          In a message dated 8/30/2004 12:14:32 PM Eastern Standard Time, GrayPJ@... writes:
          With the up-coming election I thought it relevent to ask some
          questions regarding government and our duty towards it. I know the
          Covenanter position but there are also some Christians that visit
          this forum who believe in Passive Obedience.

          Is anyone who providentially wields power the ordinance of God?
          What are the qualifications for divine approbation of a power?
          What level of obedience should we show an unlawful/immoral
          magistrate?
          How should we oppose him? How do we dissent?
          If you vote, then you may want to write in a candidate. . .
          sk
           
        • gmw
          ... Sure, that s ok. I think it might be good to lay out some principles, from the Covenanter perspective, and then folks can discuss it as they deem fit.
          Message 4 of 19 , Aug 31 1:10 PM
            --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Peter"
            <GrayPJ@c...> wrote:

            > I'd like to see them presented in debate. If thats OK.

            Sure, that's ok. I think it might be good to lay out some
            principles, from the Covenanter perspective, and then folks can
            discuss it as they deem fit.

            I'll post some sections from Alexander Shields,
            http://www.truecovenanter.com/shields/shields_hll_head5.html ,
            one point at a time, presenting the Covenanter position. Here's
            point one:

            "1. The ordinance of magistracy, which is of God, is not to be
            resisted, no, not so much as by disobedience or non-obedience, nay,
            not so much as mentally, by cursing in the heart, Eccles. 10.20, but
            a person clothed therewith, abusing his power, may be in so far
            resisted. But tyrants, or magistrates turning tyrants, are not God's
            ordinance; and there is no hazard of damnation, for refusing to obey
            their unjust commands, but rather the hazard of that is in walking
            willingly after the commandment, when the statutes of Omri are kept.
            So that what is objected from Eccl. 8.2-4, "I counsel thee to keep
            the king's commandment," &c., is answered on Head II [not yet
            available online --gmw] and is to be understood only of the lawful
            commands of lawful kings."

            Discuss away!

            gmw.
          • gmw
            Even if we write in a candidate, that candidate will still take an oath to uphold a constitution that defends pluralism against God s Word, and the candidate
            Message 5 of 19 , Aug 31 1:21 PM
              Even if we write in a candidate, that candidate will still take an
              oath to uphold a constitution that defends pluralism against God's
              Word, and the candidate will do so REPRESENTING YOU the voter who put
              him there.

              gmw.

              --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Lettermen2@a...
              wrote:
              > In a message dated 8/30/2004 12:14:32 PM Eastern Standard Time,
              > GrayPJ@c... writes:
              > With the up-coming election I thought it relevent to ask some
              > questions regarding government and our duty towards it. I know the
              > Covenanter position but there are also some Christians that visit
              > this forum who believe in Passive Obedience.
              >
              > Is anyone who providentially wields power the ordinance of God?
              > What are the qualifications for divine approbation of a power?
              > What level of obedience should we show an unlawful/immoral
              > magistrate?
              > How should we oppose him? How do we dissent?
              > See etext at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/bibcg_gp.htm
              > If you vote, then you may want to write in a candidate. . .
              > sk
            • Lettermen2@aol.com
              In a message dated 8/31/2004 4:29:20 PM Eastern Standard Time, raging.calvinist@verizon.net writes: Even if we write in a candidate, that candidate will still
              Message 6 of 19 , Aug 31 2:43 PM
                In a message dated 8/31/2004 4:29:20 PM Eastern Standard Time, raging.calvinist@... writes:

                Even if we write in a candidate, that candidate will still take an
                oath to uphold a constitution that defends pluralism against God's
                Word, and the candidate will do so REPRESENTING YOU the voter who put
                him there.

                gmw.
                Thanks for the appropriate comment. My thoughts had not gone that far.
                 
                I am new to the forum these last couple of weeks. I certainly appreciate the communication. It is doing wonders to sharpen my thinking and spurring me to dig into things were needed.
                 
                As a result of information furnished by Rand I have added a serious caveat to my review of THE NEW GENEVA STUDY BIBLE. http://members.aol.com/lettermen2/geneva.html and apologized to readers for the unreserved praise.
                 
                sk
              • gmw
                ... appreciate the ... spurring me to ... Good, I m glad there are folks like you benefiting from this group. It helps me to know that it s worth it. God
                Message 7 of 19 , Aug 31 3:21 PM
                  --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Lettermen2@a...
                  wrote:

                  > I am new to the forum these last couple of weeks. I certainly
                  appreciate the
                  > communication. It is doing wonders to sharpen my thinking and
                  spurring me to
                  > dig into things were needed.

                  Good, I'm glad there are folks like you benefiting from this group.
                  It helps me to know that it's worth it.

                  God bless, SK.

                  gmw.
                • Peter
                  Rom 13:1-2 Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God. Therefore he
                  Message 8 of 19 , Sep 3, 2004
                    Rom 13:1-2 Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers:
                    for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are
                    ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth
                    the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to
                    themselves judgment.

                    Who/what qualifies as the "ordinance" of God? The texts seems to
                    imply all in power without exception.

                    "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, (Rom. xiii.4 For he is the minister
                    of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be
                    afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister
                    of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.) 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"- Rutherford

                    But...Rom 13:1 For there is no power but of God: the powers that be
                    are ordained of God... The power, or "licentious deviation of a
                    power", reigning/tyranizing over the recipients of Paul's letter was
                    Caesar. Why would Paul instruct the Romans how to behave under a
                    power (Rutherford's strict definition) when Nero was a tyrant? Is he
                    inciting them to rebelion? More likely, he's saying, Nero, however,
                    wicked he seems, being providential given the reins of power, is the
                    ordinance of God and he is good for keeping order. My thoughts.

                    Alexander Shields couldn't even convince himself (joining the
                    Revolutionary Church). Probably later he saw a deficiency in his own
                    arguments you don't.

                    --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
                    <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
                    > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Peter"
                    > <GrayPJ@c...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > I'd like to see them presented in debate. If thats OK.
                    >
                    > Sure, that's ok. I think it might be good to lay out some
                    > principles, from the Covenanter perspective, and then folks can
                    > discuss it as they deem fit.
                    >
                    > I'll post some sections from Alexander Shields,
                    > http://www.truecovenanter.com/shields/shields_hll_head5.html ,
                    > one point at a time, presenting the Covenanter position. Here's
                    > point one:
                    >
                    > "1. The ordinance of magistracy, which is of God, is not to be
                    > resisted, no, not so much as by disobedience or non-obedience,
                    nay,
                    > not so much as mentally, by cursing in the heart, Eccles. 10.20,
                    but
                    > a person clothed therewith, abusing his power, may be in so far
                    > resisted. But tyrants, or magistrates turning tyrants, are not
                    God's
                    > ordinance; and there is no hazard of damnation, for refusing to
                    obey
                    > their unjust commands, but rather the hazard of that is in walking
                    > willingly after the commandment, when the statutes of Omri are
                    kept.
                    > So that what is objected from Eccl. 8.2-4, "I counsel thee to keep
                    > the king's commandment," &c., is answered on Head II [not yet
                    > available online --gmw] and is to be understood only of the lawful
                    > commands of lawful kings."
                    >
                    > Discuss away!
                    >
                    > gmw.
                  • Martin
                    You may want to read more of Rutherford (ie: Lex Rex) before quoting him in support of your anti-Covenanter position. Assert. 1. - It is evident from Rom.
                    Message 9 of 19 , Sep 3, 2004
                      You may want to read more of Rutherford (ie: Lex Rex) before quoting him in
                      support of your anti-Covenanter position.

                      "Assert. 1. - It is evident from Rom. xiii. that all subjection and
                      obedience to higher powers commanded there, is subjection to the power and
                      office of the magistrate in abstracto, or, which is all one, to the person
                      using the power lawfully, and that no subjection is due by that text, or any
                      word of God, to the abused and tyrannical power of the king, which I evince
                      from the text, and from other Scriptures."

                      "But, again, by a person, we mean nothing less than the man Nero wasting
                      Rome, burning, crucifying Paul, and torturing Christians; and that we owe
                      subjection to Nero, and to his person in concreto, as to God's ordinance,
                      God's minister, God's sword-bearer, in that notion of a person, is that only
                      that we deny. Nay, in that Nero, in concreto, to us is no power ordained of
                      God, no minister of God, but a minister of the devil, and Satan's
                      armour-bearer, and therefore we owe not fear, honour, subjection, or tribute
                      to the person of Nero. "

                      Samuel Rutherford, Lex Rex, Question XIX

                      There are plenty of other quotes from Rutherford that further demonstrate
                      this point and when I return to the forum in two weeks I can provide more if
                      necessary.

                      Martin

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Peter" <GrayPJ@...>
                      To: <covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 6:34 PM
                      Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Passive obedience v. Political
                      Dissidence


                      > Rom 13:1-2 Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers:
                      > for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are
                      > ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth
                      > the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to
                      > themselves judgment.
                      >
                      > Who/what qualifies as the "ordinance" of God? The texts seems to
                      > imply all in power without exception.
                      >
                      > "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, (Rom. xiii.4 For he is the minister
                      > of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be
                      > afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister
                      > of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.) 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"- Rutherford
                      >
                      > But...Rom 13:1 For there is no power but of God: the powers that be
                      > are ordained of God... The power, or "licentious deviation of a
                      > power", reigning/tyranizing over the recipients of Paul's letter was
                      > Caesar. Why would Paul instruct the Romans how to behave under a
                      > power (Rutherford's strict definition) when Nero was a tyrant? Is he
                      > inciting them to rebelion? More likely, he's saying, Nero, however,
                      > wicked he seems, being providential given the reins of power, is the
                      > ordinance of God and he is good for keeping order. My thoughts.
                      >
                      > Alexander Shields couldn't even convince himself (joining the
                      > Revolutionary Church). Probably later he saw a deficiency in his own
                      > arguments you don't.
                      >
                      > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
                      > <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
                      > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Peter"
                      > > <GrayPJ@c...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > > I'd like to see them presented in debate. If thats OK.
                      > >
                      > > Sure, that's ok. I think it might be good to lay out some
                      > > principles, from the Covenanter perspective, and then folks can
                      > > discuss it as they deem fit.
                      > >
                      > > I'll post some sections from Alexander Shields,
                      > > http://www.truecovenanter.com/shields/shields_hll_head5.html ,
                      > > one point at a time, presenting the Covenanter position. Here's
                      > > point one:
                      > >
                      > > "1. The ordinance of magistracy, which is of God, is not to be
                      > > resisted, no, not so much as by disobedience or non-obedience,
                      > nay,
                      > > not so much as mentally, by cursing in the heart, Eccles. 10.20,
                      > but
                      > > a person clothed therewith, abusing his power, may be in so far
                      > > resisted. But tyrants, or magistrates turning tyrants, are not
                      > God's
                      > > ordinance; and there is no hazard of damnation, for refusing to
                      > obey
                      > > their unjust commands, but rather the hazard of that is in walking
                      > > willingly after the commandment, when the statutes of Omri are
                      > kept.
                      > > So that what is objected from Eccl. 8.2-4, "I counsel thee to keep
                      > > the king's commandment," &c., is answered on Head II [not yet
                      > > available online --gmw] and is to be understood only of the lawful
                      > > commands of lawful kings."
                      > >
                      > > Discuss away!
                      > >
                      > > gmw.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Martin
                      Correction, Lex Rex question XXIX. ... From: Martin To: Sent: Friday, September 03,
                      Message 10 of 19 , Sep 3, 2004
                        Correction, Lex Rex question XXIX.

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Martin" <paleopuritan@...>
                        To: <covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 7:46 PM
                        Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Passive obedience v. Political
                        Dissidence


                        > You may want to read more of Rutherford (ie: Lex Rex) before quoting him
                        in
                        > support of your anti-Covenanter position.
                        >
                        > "Assert. 1. - It is evident from Rom. xiii. that all subjection and
                        > obedience to higher powers commanded there, is subjection to the power and
                        > office of the magistrate in abstracto, or, which is all one, to the person
                        > using the power lawfully, and that no subjection is due by that text, or
                        any
                        > word of God, to the abused and tyrannical power of the king, which I
                        evince
                        > from the text, and from other Scriptures."
                        >
                        > "But, again, by a person, we mean nothing less than the man Nero wasting
                        > Rome, burning, crucifying Paul, and torturing Christians; and that we owe
                        > subjection to Nero, and to his person in concreto, as to God's ordinance,
                        > God's minister, God's sword-bearer, in that notion of a person, is that
                        only
                        > that we deny. Nay, in that Nero, in concreto, to us is no power ordained
                        of
                        > God, no minister of God, but a minister of the devil, and Satan's
                        > armour-bearer, and therefore we owe not fear, honour, subjection, or
                        tribute
                        > to the person of Nero. "
                        >
                        > Samuel Rutherford, Lex Rex, Question XIX
                        >
                        > There are plenty of other quotes from Rutherford that further demonstrate
                        > this point and when I return to the forum in two weeks I can provide more
                        if
                        > necessary.
                        >
                        > Martin
                        >
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: "Peter" <GrayPJ@...>
                        > To: <covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com>
                        > Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 6:34 PM
                        > Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Passive obedience v. Political
                        > Dissidence
                        >
                        >
                        > > Rom 13:1-2 Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers:
                        > > for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are
                        > > ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth
                        > > the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to
                        > > themselves judgment.
                        > >
                        > > Who/what qualifies as the "ordinance" of God? The texts seems to
                        > > imply all in power without exception.
                        > >
                        > > "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, (Rom. xiii.4 For he is the minister
                        > > of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be
                        > > afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister
                        > > of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.) 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"- Rutherford
                        > >
                        > > But...Rom 13:1 For there is no power but of God: the powers that be
                        > > are ordained of God... The power, or "licentious deviation of a
                        > > power", reigning/tyranizing over the recipients of Paul's letter was
                        > > Caesar. Why would Paul instruct the Romans how to behave under a
                        > > power (Rutherford's strict definition) when Nero was a tyrant? Is he
                        > > inciting them to rebelion? More likely, he's saying, Nero, however,
                        > > wicked he seems, being providential given the reins of power, is the
                        > > ordinance of God and he is good for keeping order. My thoughts.
                        > >
                        > > Alexander Shields couldn't even convince himself (joining the
                        > > Revolutionary Church). Probably later he saw a deficiency in his own
                        > > arguments you don't.
                        > >
                        > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
                        > > <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
                        > > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Peter"
                        > > > <GrayPJ@c...> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > > I'd like to see them presented in debate. If thats OK.
                        > > >
                        > > > Sure, that's ok. I think it might be good to lay out some
                        > > > principles, from the Covenanter perspective, and then folks can
                        > > > discuss it as they deem fit.
                        > > >
                        > > > I'll post some sections from Alexander Shields,
                        > > > http://www.truecovenanter.com/shields/shields_hll_head5.html ,
                        > > > one point at a time, presenting the Covenanter position. Here's
                        > > > point one:
                        > > >
                        > > > "1. The ordinance of magistracy, which is of God, is not to be
                        > > > resisted, no, not so much as by disobedience or non-obedience,
                        > > nay,
                        > > > not so much as mentally, by cursing in the heart, Eccles. 10.20,
                        > > but
                        > > > a person clothed therewith, abusing his power, may be in so far
                        > > > resisted. But tyrants, or magistrates turning tyrants, are not
                        > > God's
                        > > > ordinance; and there is no hazard of damnation, for refusing to
                        > > obey
                        > > > their unjust commands, but rather the hazard of that is in walking
                        > > > willingly after the commandment, when the statutes of Omri are
                        > > kept.
                        > > > So that what is objected from Eccl. 8.2-4, "I counsel thee to keep
                        > > > the king's commandment," &c., is answered on Head II [not yet
                        > > > available online --gmw] and is to be understood only of the lawful
                        > > > commands of lawful kings."
                        > > >
                        > > > Discuss away!
                        > > >
                        > > > gmw.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • J. Parnell McCarter
                        There were many covenanters who did not have the political philosophy of Richard Cameron (that Cameron had at the end of his life). Most Covenanters joined
                        Message 11 of 19 , Sep 3, 2004

                          There were many covenanters who did not have the political philosophy of Richard Cameron (that Cameron had at the end of his life).   Most Covenanters joined the established Church of Scotland after the end of King James II's reign.

                           

                          We must be very careful in our interpretation of Rutherford too.  Martin, I think it can be shown that the "Cameronian" political philosophy differs from that espoused by Rutherford .

                           

                          I suggest though that we begin with Calvin's writings on the subject, who produced the first great systematic theology of the reformed faith- then work our way from there.  Martin, do you really believe the political philosophy of Richard Cameron (that Cameron had at the end of his life) is the same as the political philosophy that Calvin had throughout his life as a Protestant?

                           

                          - Parnell McCarter

                           

                           

                           

                           

                        • Martin
                          Hi Parnell, I agree that we must be careful in interpretting Rutherford. Whether the Cameronian political philosophy differs from that espoused by
                          Message 12 of 19 , Sep 4, 2004
                            Hi Parnell,
                             
                            I agree that we must be careful in interpretting Rutherford.  Whether the "Cameronian" political philosophy differs from that espoused by Rutherford wasn't within the scope of my previous post.  My post with the Rutherford quotes simply was to show that Rutherford didn't take the simplistic view of Romans 13 which was offered.  Whether or not Rutherford and and the later Presbyterians like Cameron agreed is something that can be investigated in its own right.
                             
                            As for Cameron versus Calvin.  I honestly haven't studied Calvin's political philosophy sufficiently to answer that.  From what I've seen thus far, Calvin is quoted by various opposing philosophical camps (no surprise there).  I haven't spent the time to duly ascertain exactly what Calvin's political philosophy was.  If you have some available information on that, I'd be happy to review it.
                             
                            Anyways, I'm leaving right away here for my vacation; during which I will not be able to check this forum until September 18th.
                             
                            Martin
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 8:12 PM
                            Subject: RE: [Covenanted Reformation] Passive obedience v. Political Dissidence

                            There were many covenanters who did not have the political philosophy of Richard Cameron (that Cameron had at the end of his life).   Most Covenanters joined the established Church of Scotland after the end of King James II's reign.

                             

                            We must be very careful in our interpretation of Rutherford too.  Martin, I think it can be shown that the "Cameronian" political philosophy differs from that espoused by Rutherford .

                             

                            I suggest though that we begin with Calvin's writings on the subject, who produced the first great systematic theology of the reformed faith- then work our way from there.  Martin, do you really believe the political philosophy of Richard Cameron (that Cameron had at the end of his life) is the same as the political philosophy that Calvin had throughout his life as a Protestant?

                             

                            - Parnell McCarter

                             

                             

                             

                             


                          • gmw
                            ... Then it is damnable to resist all in power without exception. Is this your position? The quote you provide below is actually saying the opposite, as is
                            Message 13 of 19 , Sep 4, 2004
                              --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Peter"
                              <GrayPJ@c...> wrote:

                              > Who/what qualifies as the "ordinance" of God? The texts seems to
                              > imply all in power without exception.

                              Then it is damnable to resist all in power without exception. Is this
                              your position? The quote you provide below is actually saying the
                              opposite, as is clearly states "Tyranny... is not from God... to
                              oppress is not from God and is not a power but a licentious deviation
                              of power."

                              > But...Rom 13:1 For there is no power but of God: the powers that be
                              > are ordained of God... The power, or "licentious deviation of a
                              > power", reigning/tyranizing over the recipients of Paul's letter was
                              > Caesar. Why would Paul instruct the Romans how to behave under a
                              > power (Rutherford's strict definition) when Nero was a tyrant?

                              Some suppose that Paul was not addressing any specific government.
                              Some suppose that if Paul was addressing Nero it was at a time before
                              he showed himself to be a Christian-persecuting tyrant. Others
                              suppose that if Paul intended any particular "power" that he may have
                              intended Parliament who was at the time taking side against Nero. At
                              any rate, what is important is to look at what Paul is actually
                              describing... THAT is what you are to obey and not resist in any form.

                              > Is he inciting them to rebelion?

                              No, he certainly is not. Neither is it the Covenanter position to
                              incite others to rebellion. Covenanters distinguished their case as
                              it was circumstantiated -- a covenanting king in a covenanted land who
                              was put in his position under covenanted laws, who then burned the
                              covenant, changed the position he held to include being head of the
                              church, and changed all the laws to which Covenanters might have appealed.

                              > More likely, he's saying, Nero,
                              > however, wicked he seems, being providential given the reins of
                              > power, is the ordinance of God and he is good for keeping order. My
                              > thoughts.

                              And we do not deny that a tyrant is better than anarchy. Nor do we
                              deny that we are to resist a tyrant in all things. What we do deny is
                              that tyrants are what Paul is describing in Romans (a terror to evil
                              doers, a praiser of those who do good, etc).

                              > Alexander Shields couldn't even convince himself (joining the
                              > Revolutionary Church). Probably later he saw a deficiency in his own
                              > arguments you don't.

                              Perhaps he saw a deficiency in his own arguments. Perhaps he caved in
                              and joined the Revolution Church after being influenced by Mr. Linning
                              and Mr. Boyd, later regretting that decision. I say perhaps, because
                              I do not know. Tertullian wrote alot of good stuff, and later changed
                              his mind too -- it's not evidence of the incorrectness of the first
                              position.

                              gmw.
                            • gmw
                              It might be helpful to keep the following things in mind in the discussion of the Covenanters political dissent. 1. It was only after Charles made the legal
                              Message 14 of 19 , Sep 4, 2004
                                It might be helpful to keep the following things in mind in the
                                discussion of the Covenanters' political dissent.

                                1. It was only after Charles made the legal definition of "owning
                                the king" to include owning him not only as the civil but also as the
                                ecclesiastical head that Covenanters disowned him. The question "Do
                                you own the king?" then became a bit more complicated than some
                                suggest. John M'Millan III wrote,

                                "The covenanters who suffered to the death under Charles, during the
                                first period of the persecution, it is acknowledged, died owning him
                                as king; such as the Rev. Mr. James Guthrie of Stirling, and the
                                noble Marquis of Argyle. But, after that by the act explanatory, the
                                spiritual supremacy was declared to be an inherent right in the
                                crown, the later martyrs generally disowned him in both civil and
                                religious matters; such as, the Rev. Mr. Donald Cargil, and Mr. David
                                Hackstoun of Rathillet. The grounds upon which those martyrs who
                                suffered prior to the act explanatory owned Charles II. were the
                                following.—He was duly constituted their king according to the word
                                of God, and covenanted reformation: and although they held their
                                sufferings to be unjust, yet they did not apprehend, that one, or a
                                few acts of maladministration in reigning powers, affecting
                                individuals, invalidated the authority which had been lawfully
                                constituted.—It was still hoped by them, that the prince would see
                                his sin, and be reclaimed. —All their acknowledgement of him was
                                founded upon his constitution; it still remaining the same till
                                altered by the act explanatory. On these grounds, our noble martyrs,
                                who fell a prey to Charles II. in the first period of the
                                persecution, owned the authority under which they suffered."

                                http://www.truecovenanter.com/mcmillan/mcmillan_letter1781.html

                                2. The Covenanters did not hold that it is ok to disown every
                                magistrate that commits any acts of tyranny whatsoever.
                                The Informatory Vindication states,

                                "In things Civil, though we do not say that every Tyrannical act or
                                action doth make a Tyrant, yet we hold, that habitual, obstinate, &
                                declared opposition to, & overturning of Religion, Laws & Liberties,
                                & making void all contracts with the Subjects, or when he usurps a
                                power without any compact, or giving any security for Religion &
                                Liberties, or when he is such as the Laws of the Land do make
                                incapable of Government; These do sufficiently invalidate his Right &
                                Relation of Magistracy, & warrant subjects, especially in Covenanted
                                Lands, to revolt from under & disown allegiance unto such a power. In
                                such a case, when the body of a Land collectively considered, or the
                                more faithful & better part of that Land, in the time of National &
                                universal Apostacy, & complete & habitual Tyranny, adhering closely
                                to the fundamental constitutions & Laudable practices of that
                                Covenanted Land (when the fundamental Laws of the Kingdom are
                                directly overturned, & the essential conditions of the mutual
                                Compacts are broken, & such as cleave closely to the Reformation &
                                Liberties of the Kingdom are accounted Rebels, & prosecuted as such)
                                may reject and refuse the Magistratical Relation between the Tyrant &
                                them: yet, before the erection of formal Magistracy, they may not
                                Lawfully arrogate to themselves that Authority which the Tyrant hath
                                forfeited, or claim to themselves the Authority of Judges; though
                                radically they have the Authority of the Law, by their Natural right,
                                & fundamental power, which God allows & is Nature's attendant; & the
                                Municipal privilege of these subjects; but they cannot act
                                judicially, in either Civil or Criminal Courts, only in the interim
                                they may Lawfully do that which may most conduce to the securing of
                                themselves, Religion, & Liberty.

                                3. That last bit brings up another important point. The Covenanters
                                did not act as a parliament or in any other judicial office in doing
                                what they did. They acted as private citizens, and distinguished
                                what they were doing from what it is that only a parliament may do.
                                Again, the Informatory Vindication states,

                                "As for the principal and most material part of the Testimony, to
                                wit, The disowning of Charles the Second; We distinguish between a
                                judicial & Authoritative deposing, & a private Lawful & necessary
                                disowning, & refusing any more to own him in a Magistratical relation
                                over us, for ourselves & all who adhere unto & consent with us in our
                                Declaration against him, as Head of the Malignants. The former we
                                altogether deny to be done by us; The latter we have done, & own it
                                as our duty; And that because of these reasons expressed in the
                                Declaration, & hinted above pages 32,33. Chiefly for this, in the
                                complex (which comprehends all) that he had inverted all the ends of
                                Government, & everted & perverted Religion, Laws, & Liberties, which
                                he was obliged to maintain, both by his office & trust, & by the
                                superadded tie & obligation of sacred & solemn Oaths & Covenants; By
                                breaking which, he had ruined & razed the very foundations, {53} upon
                                which both his right to govern & the peoples allegiance were founded,
                                & thereby he had loosed the people from all obligation to own his
                                Authority: For the Articles & Conditions, agreed upon & mutually
                                covenanted unto, betwixt a people & the Person or persons whom they
                                entrust to rule over them for their good, are the only fundamental
                                Laws, whereupon the Ruler's right to govern & the peoples' obligation
                                to obey are founded, & which continues & regulates the relation of
                                each to other, in their respective spheres & duties; And no Law,
                                Divine nor Humane, does oblige one party to the performance of a
                                mutual Condition to the other, while the other does not mutually
                                observe nor perform his to them. And because he had usurped & exerced
                                that Sacrilegious Supremacy."

                                Just wanted to add these things, lest folks come to the wrong
                                conclusion that Covenanters pick up their guns and cry for rebellion
                                whenever an act of tyranny is committed.

                                gmw.
                              • Peter
                                Thanks for your reply Martin. I was actually quoting Rutherford supporting the view that a power *must* be a minister for good and a tyrant is not power
                                Message 15 of 19 , Sep 4, 2004
                                  Thanks for your reply Martin. I was actually quoting Rutherford
                                  supporting the view that a "power" *must* be a minister for good and
                                  a tyrant is not "power" but a "licentious deviation of a power".
                                  (rom 13:4) Q.IX Yes Rutherford did not take the simplistic view,
                                  neither did he, nor I claim he did, in this passage. My next
                                  paragraph was an attempt to respond to his argument.

                                  --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Martin"
                                  <paleopuritan@h...> wrote:
                                  > Hi Parnell,
                                  >
                                  > I agree that we must be careful in interpretting Rutherford.
                                  Whether the "Cameronian" political philosophy differs from that
                                  espoused by Rutherford wasn't within the scope of my previous post.
                                  My post with the Rutherford quotes simply was to show that
                                  Rutherford didn't take the simplistic view of Romans 13 which was
                                  offered. Whether or not Rutherford and and the later Presbyterians
                                  like Cameron agreed is something that can be investigated in its own
                                  right.
                                  >
                                  > As for Cameron versus Calvin. I honestly haven't studied Calvin's
                                  political philosophy sufficiently to answer that. From what I've
                                  seen thus far, Calvin is quoted by various opposing philosophical
                                  camps (no surprise there). I haven't spent the time to duly
                                  ascertain exactly what Calvin's political philosophy was. If you
                                  have some available information on that, I'd be happy to review it.
                                  >
                                  > Anyways, I'm leaving right away here for my vacation; during which
                                  I will not be able to check this forum until September 18th.
                                  >
                                  > Martin
                                  > ----- Original Message -----
                                  > From: J. Parnell McCarter
                                  > To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 8:12 PM
                                  > Subject: RE: [Covenanted Reformation] Passive obedience v.
                                  Political Dissidence
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > There were many covenanters who did not have the political
                                  philosophy of Richard Cameron (that Cameron had at the end of his
                                  life). Most Covenanters joined the established Church of Scotland
                                  after the end of King James II's reign.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > We must be very careful in our interpretation of Rutherford
                                  too. Martin, I think it can be shown that the "Cameronian"
                                  political philosophy differs from that espoused by Rutherford.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > I suggest though that we begin with Calvin's writings on the
                                  subject, who produced the first great systematic theology of the
                                  reformed faith- then work our way from there. Martin, do you really
                                  believe the political philosophy of Richard Cameron (that Cameron
                                  had at the end of his life) is the same as the political philosophy
                                  that Calvin had throughout his life as a Protestant?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > - Parnell McCarter
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
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                                • gmw
                                  Not that this has anything to do with this current thread, but... Peter, could you let the group know about the work you are involved in distributing the
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Sep 4, 2004
                                    Not that this has anything to do with this current thread, but...

                                    Peter, could you let the group know about the work you are involved
                                    in distributing the Shorter Catechism in Bucks Co. PA? I think folks
                                    here would appreciate your work.

                                    gmw.

                                    --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Peter"
                                    <GrayPJ@c...> wrote:
                                    > Thanks for your reply Martin. I was actually quoting Rutherford
                                    > supporting the view that a "power" *must* be a minister for good
                                    and
                                    > a tyrant is not "power" but a "licentious deviation of a power".
                                    > (rom 13:4)
                                  • gmw
                                    ... The Covenanters certainly did not believe they were in opposition to any of the orthodox divines in their defense of liberty against their particular
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Sep 4, 2004
                                      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Martin"
                                      <paleopuritan@h...> wrote:

                                      > As for Cameron versus Calvin.

                                      The Covenanters certainly did not believe they were in opposition to
                                      any of the orthodox divines in their defense of liberty against their
                                      particular tyrant. Yet they, as we should today, only wish that
                                      people get the facts straight before attacking their position:

                                      "Let none therefore object against the legality of what we have done,
                                      or are doing: for we offer as (how inconsiderable we are said to be)
                                      to prove ourselves to have done nothing against our ancient laws
                                      civil or ecclesiastic, against any lawyers or divines whatsoever, our
                                      ancient laws being judges; and we having safety to pass and repass
                                      (if the public faith after so many breaches can be trusted) for that
                                      effect. So then let no foreign kingdoms or churches through
                                      misinformation or false copies (as they are many) of what we act or
                                      do, because we have no access to the press as they; we say let them
                                      not take up a wrong opinion of us or our proceedings: for we are only
                                      endeavouring to extricate ourselves from under a tyrannous yoke, and
                                      to reduce our church and state to what they were in the years 1648
                                      and 1649." -- Declaration at Lanark.

                                      I offer this not as any proof towards either side of the current
                                      discussion, only as a point of interest.

                                      gmw.
                                    • Peter
                                      Okay then, only those who are a minister to thee for good qualify as powers . A minister for good is described in Due 17:19 [The Law] shall be with him,
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Sep 13, 2004
                                        Okay then, only those who are "a minister to thee for good" qualify
                                        as "powers". A minister for good is described in Due 17:19 "[The
                                        Law] 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." If we're in agreement so far, let
                                        me ask some more questions. (1) Are all non-Christian rulers
                                        unlawful tyrants, or is obedience to the law written in their hearts
                                        enough to make them lawful magistrates? (2) At what point does a
                                        ruler become a tyrant, who is to judge? (3) Until what point are
                                        tyrants to be tolerated?

                                        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
                                        <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
                                        > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Martin"
                                        > <paleopuritan@h...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > > As for Cameron versus Calvin.
                                        >
                                        > The Covenanters certainly did not believe they were in opposition
                                        to
                                        > any of the orthodox divines in their defense of liberty against
                                        their
                                        > particular tyrant. Yet they, as we should today, only wish that
                                        > people get the facts straight before attacking their position:
                                        >
                                        > "Let none therefore object against the legality of what we have
                                        done,
                                        > or are doing: for we offer as (how inconsiderable we are said to
                                        be)
                                        > to prove ourselves to have done nothing against our ancient laws
                                        > civil or ecclesiastic, against any lawyers or divines whatsoever,
                                        our
                                        > ancient laws being judges; and we having safety to pass and repass
                                        > (if the public faith after so many breaches can be trusted) for
                                        that
                                        > effect. So then let no foreign kingdoms or churches through
                                        > misinformation or false copies (as they are many) of what we act
                                        or
                                        > do, because we have no access to the press as they; we say let
                                        them
                                        > not take up a wrong opinion of us or our proceedings: for we are
                                        only
                                        > endeavouring to extricate ourselves from under a tyrannous yoke,
                                        and
                                        > to reduce our church and state to what they were in the years 1648
                                        > and 1649." -- Declaration at Lanark.
                                        >
                                        > I offer this not as any proof towards either side of the current
                                        > discussion, only as a point of interest.
                                        >
                                        > gmw.
                                      • gmw
                                        ... The minister to thee for good is that moral power to which we owe submission and obedience for conscience sake, though a tyrant can be a physical or
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Sep 14, 2004
                                          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Peter"
                                          <GrayPJ@c...> wrote:
                                          > Okay then, only those who are "a minister to thee for good" qualify
                                          > as "powers".

                                          The "minister to thee for good" is that moral power to which we owe
                                          submission and obedience for conscience sake, though a tyrant can be a
                                          physical or providential power to which Christians may submit for
                                          wrath's sake.

                                          > A minister for good is described in Due 17:19.... (1) Are all
                                          > non-Christian rulers unlawful tyrants, or is obedience to the law
                                          > written in their hearts enough to make them lawful magistrates?

                                          In a covenanted land, such as Israel was (and such as England,
                                          Ireland, and Scotland had become), may NOT put a non-Christian, or an
                                          anti-Christian, in power over them so that they may submit to him. In
                                          such a case, the unbelieving magistrate ought to be removed by lawful
                                          means, as peacefully as possible.

                                          In the case of a nation that is not covenanted to God, we cannot and
                                          do not pretend that they do not have lawful magistrates simply because
                                          the magistrates are not Christians. They must rule by the law of
                                          nature, which itself teaches that a magistrate has a duty to the
                                          people to do them good and not evil, and that if a tyrant seeks to
                                          destroy your life, you must seek to preserve it.

                                          > (2) At what point does a
                                          > ruler become a tyrant, who is to judge? (3) Until what point are
                                          > tyrants to be tolerated?

                                          I won't say that I have a definitive answer that applies perfectly in
                                          every case. As I pointed out in a previous post, the Covenanters did
                                          not consider every act of tryanny to be sufficient to declare someone
                                          to be a tyrant. Charles II was owned by Covenanters (Marquis and
                                          Guthrie, for example), even as they were being persecuted by him. It
                                          was after Charles had an act passed that explained that in order to
                                          own him as king, you must own him as having all power both civil and
                                          ecclesiastical, which then became the legal understanding of the
                                          question "Do you own the king?" And of course, the Covenanters
                                          answered as a Christian would have to answer in such a circumstance,
                                          "No, I cannot own that usurper as king." They then declared that if
                                          Charles was going to hunt them down and murder them, they would be
                                          fighting back from now on. It was not an attempt to remove him from
                                          the throne, but to preserve their lives, liberty, and religion. As
                                          for your question (3) above, I would say that we may tolerate them so
                                          long as is possible without sinning or compromising Christian
                                          principles. In the case of Charles II, the Covenanters were not
                                          permitted to own him as the supreme ecclesiastical authority, nor
                                          could they own him as a lawful king in a covenanted land where the law
                                          says he is not lawful, nor would it be right to hand over the
                                          Covenanted Reformation, their religion, their own and their neighbors
                                          lives, the tax money imposed on them for the express purpose of
                                          raising funds to kill Covenanters, without any kind of a fight.

                                          Any other comments from the Covenanter position are welcome, as I'm
                                          speaking only from my own understanding and not as an official of any
                                          sort.

                                          gmw.
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