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[Covenanted Reformation] Re: Some more on politics and Christianity

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  • forisraelssake
    ... I know it is natural for people like us to think that way, given the WCF 23:3 Reformers we pretty much exclusively read on the one hand, and the strong
    Message 1 of 23 , Oct 6, 2007
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      > I'm saddened by this apparent abandonment of reformation principles.
      > Chris, if you commit "a consensual sexual act outside of marriage"
      > with my wife, I would be tempted to kill you, and would lament that
      > the magistrate in theses lands fail to carry out their duty towards you.
      >
      > If you commit "a consensual sexual act outside of marriage" with my
      > daughter, I would feel likewise.
      >

      I know it is natural for people like us to think that way, given the
      WCF 23:3 Reformers we pretty much exclusively read on the one hand,
      and the strong preference everyone in our perspective has always shown
      for Bahnsen and Rushdooney against opponents of their views. But WCF
      23:3 hasn't been my preferred interpretation for a long time now
      (Savoy 24:3 being my former preferred understanding in its place), and
      once I started reading Americans on this topic, liberty of conscience
      and Roger Williams style freedom of religion started making a lot more
      sense and I came to see it can be justified biblically.

      As morally outraged as you would be in the above cases of sex, and
      desirous of making me promptly die of lead-poisoning, would you put
      your family members in the same category and want to kill them too?
      You said kill me in that case, you didn't talk about killing them as
      well, but it is not clear what the difference would be.

      What is the State's 'duty' anyway? Punish all sin with violence? The
      distinction between private sins and public sins does not seem well
      conceived and well-demarcated to me any more, so that I can say "well
      of course all PUBLIC sins should be punished, but PRIVATE sins are not
      the State's right to punish". What does that even mean in the case of
      people's private decisions and actions made with their free,
      un-coerced consent?

      > And should I be offended at these sins committed against me and my
      > family, and wish that the magistrate would bear his God-given sword
      > against these PUBLIC crimes against me and my family, and not desire
      > that the same be done in the case of PUBLIC crimes directly aimed at
      > God (as well as being damaging to public welfare)?
      >

      I agree you should be offended at the sins against both our neighbors
      as well as the sins against God. All sin should grieve the Christian.
      God himself is continually offended by them as well, as he tells us in
      his Word. Yet where is the moral foundation for one person telling
      another person how they must live their life when no aggression is
      involved in the sin. Where is the victim in victimless crimes?

      I am afraid of the idea of someone who is not God telling someone else
      how they must live their life. Even with the best of intentions and a
      benevolent respect for God's authentic moral will, that is still
      enslaving someone else against their will to your dictates, which is
      still a type of slavery. I don't believe States have any more power
      than the individuals who compose it, so if you don't have power to
      tell someone how to live their life when your own life, liberty and
      property are not at stake, then neither does the State made up of
      people like you.


      > And how can the magistrate be called the minister of God for good, and
      > a terror to those who do evil, and not raise his sword against public
      > evil such as adultery, fornication, sabbath-breaking, etc?
      >

      Because that is exactly what he was called by Paul in the Holy Spirit
      when that exactly is what happened, namely he (e.g. Nero Caesar) did
      not raise his sword against adultery, fornication, and
      sabbath-breaking and yet Paul told us he, and all other kings and
      states, existed providentially to punish evil. I think Romans 13 is
      talking about the same thing as Isaiah 10 is. In Isa 10, this state
      itself is just as worthy as death as all those it was wiping out, and
      yet it was for that time a providential ordinance to restrain evil and
      carried the sword to avenge God's outrage against the nations
      (including Israel), then after a while, it was not the providential
      ordinance, as it easily collapsed and something else became the de
      facto ordinance of God, and Assyria was wiped out itself as it had
      done to so many others before it.


      > That the duty of the civil magistrate is to defend and enforce both
      > tables of the law is just good Calvinism, isn't it? It's good old
      > Reformed doctrine, is it not?
      >
      > What's going on, Chris, is there anything we can do to help?
      >
      > gmw.
      >

      Thanks for your sympathy Jerry but I think I made a big mistake when I
      got involved with paleo-presbyterianism. I know that's not what you
      wanted to hear but that is the root of these remarks. I warmly embrace
      the riches of Calvinism and I am a member of a Dutch Reformed church
      (if you were wondering who I primarily fellowship with), but like many
      Reformed and Presbyterians today, I don't think something like
      Bahnsen's Theonomy is true, even if it more or less was the historic
      Presbyterian view. I can totally see in WCF 23:3 the Jewish Theocratic
      State between Saul and Zedekiah, but that is the wrong model for us I
      believe. The free society and libertarianism is I think the correct
      view for the NT period.

      Sincerely,
      Chris
    • Ic Neltococayotl
      ... Chris- In other words...human autonomy & a baptised anarchism...then when it does not conflict with the latter the Bible can have its place...that s what
      Message 2 of 23 , Oct 6, 2007
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        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "forisraelssake"
        <c_tylor@...> wrote:
        >
        >that is the wrong model for us I
        > believe. The free society and libertarianism is I think the correct
        > view for the NT period.
        >
        > Sincerely,
        > Chris
        >
        Chris-

        In other words...human autonomy & a baptised anarchism...then when it
        does not conflict with the latter the Bible can have its place...that's
        what it sounds like to me.

        Roger Williams and American style pluralism of religion is one of the
        biggest woes the Church has had to endure. What better way to weaken
        and make effeminate the Church than to divide her and split her as she
        is today?

        Your views are dangerous to the glory of Christ's Church and Law. The
        magistrate has a duty to execute physical Biblical justice against those
        that violate the 10 Commandments. The Church Court has the duty to
        execute spiritual Biblical justice against those that transgress the 10
        Commandments.

        -Edgar
      • forisraelssake
        You are at liberty to think what you want, Edgar. Chris
        Message 3 of 23 , Oct 6, 2007
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          You are at liberty to think what you want, Edgar.

          Chris


          > Chris-
          >
          > In other words...human autonomy & a baptised anarchism...then when it
          > does not conflict with the latter the Bible can have its place...that's
          > what it sounds like to me.
          >
          > Roger Williams and American style pluralism of religion is one of the
          > biggest woes the Church has had to endure. What better way to weaken
          > and make effeminate the Church than to divide her and split her as she
          > is today?
          >
          > Your views are dangerous to the glory of Christ's Church and Law. The
          > magistrate has a duty to execute physical Biblical justice against those
          > that violate the 10 Commandments. The Church Court has the duty to
          > execute spiritual Biblical justice against those that transgress the 10
          > Commandments.
          >
          > -Edgar
          >
        • wraezor
          ... As a father, am I no longer allowed to mandate to my children how they must live their life while under my authority? (through Biblical correction,
          Message 4 of 23 , Oct 6, 2007
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            --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "forisraelssake"
            <c_tylor@...> wrote:

            > I am afraid of the idea of someone who is not God telling someone else
            > how they must live their life. Even with the best of intentions and a
            > benevolent respect for God's authentic moral will, that is still
            > enslaving someone else against their will to your dictates, which is
            > still a type of slavery.

            As a father, am I no longer allowed to mandate to my children 'how
            they must live their life' while under my authority? (through Biblical
            correction, education, example-setting, house order, etc.)

            I may be flawed and frail (and I'm certainly not God), but I'm still
            given the authority to make and enforce a decision that "as for me and
            my house, we will serve the Lord".

            As we discussed before, I still maintain that the family is less of a
            'voluntary' authority than the state is. So the argument holds
            equally true when the subjection is more voluntary.

            Jordan
          • Deejay
            Chris, that would seem the same argument used by a minority, to legitimize calling themselves Christian homosexuals. As for Bahensen, I know many
            Message 5 of 23 , Oct 7, 2007
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              Chris,

              that would seem the same argument used by a minority, to legitimize
              calling themselves "Christian homosexuals."

              As for Bahensen, I know many Presbyterians, who are not followers of
              and disagree with Bahensen on many, many issues. I'm a bit confused
              what Bahensen or his theonomic view has to do with much of anything in
              this.

              ~Deejay


              --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "forisraelssake"
              <c_tylor@...> wrote:

              >
              > I am afraid of the idea of someone who is not God telling someone else
              > how they must live their life. Even with the best of intentions and a
              > benevolent respect for God's authentic moral will, that is still
              > enslaving someone else against their will to your dictates, which is
              > still a type of slavery. I don't believe States have any more power
              > than the individuals who compose it, so if you don't have power to
              > tell someone how to live their life when your own life, liberty and
              > property are not at stake, then neither does the State made up of
              > people like you.
              >
              >
              > > And how can the magistrate be called the minister of God for good,
              and
              > > a terror to those who do evil, and not raise his sword against
              public
              > > evil such as adultery, fornication, sabbath-breaking, etc?
              > >
              >
              > Because that is exactly what he was called by Paul in the Holy Spirit
              > when that exactly is what happened, namely he (e.g. Nero Caesar) did
              > not raise his sword against adultery, fornication, and
              > sabbath-breaking and yet Paul told us he, and all other kings and
              > states, existed providentially to punish evil. I think Romans 13 is
              > talking about the same thing as Isaiah 10 is. In Isa 10, this state
              > itself is just as worthy as death as all those it was wiping out, and
              > yet it was for that time a providential ordinance to restrain evil and
              > carried the sword to avenge God's outrage against the nations
              > (including Israel), then after a while, it was not the providential
              > ordinance, as it easily collapsed and something else became the de
              > facto ordinance of God, and Assyria was wiped out itself as it had
              > done to so many others before it.
              >
              >
              > > That the duty of the civil magistrate is to defend and enforce both
              > > tables of the law is just good Calvinism, isn't it? It's good old
              > > Reformed doctrine, is it not?
              > >
              > > What's going on, Chris, is there anything we can do to help?
              > >
              > > gmw.
              > >
              >
              > Thanks for your sympathy Jerry but I think I made a big mistake when I
              > got involved with paleo-presbyterianism. I know that's not what you
              > wanted to hear but that is the root of these remarks. I warmly embrace
              > the riches of Calvinism and I am a member of a Dutch Reformed church
              > (if you were wondering who I primarily fellowship with), but like many
              > Reformed and Presbyterians today, I don't think something like
              > Bahnsen's Theonomy is true, even if it more or less was the historic
              > Presbyterian view. I can totally see in WCF 23:3 the Jewish Theocratic
              > State between Saul and Zedekiah, but that is the wrong model for us I
              > believe. The free society and libertarianism is I think the correct
              > view for the NT period.
              >
              > Sincerely,
              > Chris
              >
            • forisraelssake
              ... Hi Deejay, I have no idea what you re even talking about with respect to homosexuality. This discussion has been about two things, first theonomy vs.
              Message 6 of 23 , Oct 7, 2007
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                > Chris,
                >
                > that would seem the same argument used by a minority, to legitimize
                > calling themselves "Christian homosexuals."
                >
                > As for Bahensen, I know many Presbyterians, who are not followers of
                > and disagree with Bahensen on many, many issues. I'm a bit confused
                > what Bahensen or his theonomic view has to do with much of anything in
                > this.
                >
                > ~Deejay
                >

                Hi Deejay,

                I have no idea what you're even talking about with respect to
                homosexuality.

                This discussion has been about two things, first theonomy vs.
                libertarianism, so rather than being an inessential side-point, it is
                the point. Do we, in the New Testament, respond retributively to
                violations of all 10 Commandments--and enforce God's complete morality
                through the sword/at gun-point, or do we respond retributively only
                against aggressions and assaults against person and property--while
                preaching God's complete morality in all the catholic churches?

                We've also started talking about a second related point, is freedom of
                religion desirable or undesirable, which more or less collapses back
                into the first point about theonomy vs libertarianism.


                Chris
              • forisraelssake
                ... Perhaps we don t disagree. This is what Rothbard wrote about parental rights and children s rights: http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/fourteen.asp By
                Message 7 of 23 , Oct 7, 2007
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                  > As a father, am I no longer allowed to mandate to my children 'how
                  > they must live their life' while under my authority? (through Biblical
                  > correction, education, example-setting, house order, etc.)
                  >
                  > I may be flawed and frail (and I'm certainly not God), but I'm still
                  > given the authority to make and enforce a decision that "as for me and
                  > my house, we will serve the Lord".
                  >
                  > As we discussed before, I still maintain that the family is less of a
                  > 'voluntary' authority than the state is. So the argument holds
                  > equally true when the subjection is more voluntary.
                  >
                  > Jordan
                  >

                  Perhaps we don't disagree. This is what Rothbard wrote about parental
                  rights and children's rights:
                  http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/fourteen.asp

                  By virtue of your natural rights as father you and your wife have
                  parental rights of control and guardianship over your helpless
                  children. Beyond your legal rights, you do have additional moral
                  rights as well, that go beyond legal obligations but will last yours
                  and their lifetimes (things such as seeking your consent and blessing
                  for their major life decisions).

                  The Christian concept ennobles and enriches the relationship and
                  deepens it with the ties of love and self-sacrifice.

                  Remember what I am saying is strictly about the law and using force to
                  enforce, and not about what is morally proper or required which is a
                  completely distinct idea.

                  To give a classic example, it may be legal for a person to separate
                  from or divorce their spouse 'for no good reason'--in that it would be
                  slavery and tyranny for somehow use force and violence to keep them in
                  the home, but on the other hand it would very immoral and wrong to
                  separate from or divorce one's spouse for no good reason, and is
                  certainly actionable by one's church for spiritual discipline.

                  Chris
                • gmw
                  ... Others may bring Bahnsen and Rushdooney into this, I will not, as I have not been influenced by them. I don t believe Calvin or the Westminster Assembly
                  Message 8 of 23 , Oct 7, 2007
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                    --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "forisraelssake"
                    <c_tylor@...> wrote:

                    > I know it is natural for people like us to think that way, given the
                    > WCF 23:3 Reformers we pretty much exclusively read on the one hand,
                    > and the strong preference everyone in our perspective has always shown
                    > for Bahnsen and Rushdooney against opponents of their views.

                    Others may bring Bahnsen and Rushdooney into this, I will not, as I
                    have not been influenced by them. I don't believe Calvin or the
                    Westminster Assembly members went to their classes either. Whatever
                    similarities I may be displaying, I've never read Rushdooney, and read
                    very little of Bahnsen. Credit Calvin and the Assembly for my
                    influences. (I mean no disrespect to those men, I'm just saying).

                    > As morally outraged as you would be in the above cases of sex, and
                    > desirous of making me promptly die of lead-poisoning, would you put
                    > your family members in the same category and want to kill them too?
                    > You said kill me in that case, you didn't talk about killing them as
                    > well, but it is not clear what the difference would be.

                    However I answer your question is inconsequential to the point -- a
                    "victimless crime" does not tend to leave a broken hearted man, who
                    feels like he's lost everything, crying for justice, does it? Why the
                    great temptation to load the gun? What has the man lost in this
                    victimless crime to make him so hurt, angry, and desirous of justice?

                    And do you not see the PUBLIC harm this behavior causes? Look around
                    very carefully, it's there for you to see. As Canada and the United
                    States become less and less influenced by Christianity, they have more
                    and more adopted the "adultery and fornication and sabbath breaking
                    are victimless crimes not to be punished" tact, have they not? Or
                    shall an argument be made that we are more and more adopting the
                    Biblical view, after the Puritan and Calvinistic influences messed us
                    up so much early on?

                    > What is the State's 'duty' anyway? Punish all sin with violence?

                    What theologian worth his salt has ever advocated that the duty of the
                    magistrate is to punish all sin with violence? Is this what you
                    believe the WCF and Calvin taught? Or even Bahnsen and Rushdooney for
                    that matter?

                    > The
                    > distinction between private sins and public sins does not seem well
                    > conceived and well-demarcated to me any more,

                    Are you able to distinguish between public and private ~anything~, or
                    is it just the case of sin that they become undistinguishable? Is
                    there no difference between my breaking my own coffee mug in anger,
                    and going around the neighborhood breaking everyone's coffee mugs in
                    anger? (pausing to calmly sip some coffee...)

                    > so that I can say "well of course all PUBLIC sins should be
                    > punished, but PRIVATE sins are not
                    > the State's right to punish". What does that even mean in the case
                    > of people's private decisions and actions made with their free,
                    > un-coerced consent?

                    Orgy on my front lawn, Ok under your scheme? Suicide party over at my
                    place, cool with you?

                    > I agree you should be offended at the sins against both our neighbors
                    > as well as the sins against God. All sin should grieve the Christian.
                    > God himself is continually offended by them as well, as he tells us in
                    > his Word.

                    Good, agreed.

                    > Yet where is the moral foundation for one person telling
                    > another person how they must live their life when no aggression is
                    > involved in the sin. Where is the victim in victimless crimes?

                    Is it your argument that there was no moral foundation for punishing
                    witches, sodomites, zoophiles, sabbath-breakers, etc., in the Old
                    Testament economy?

                    I'm quite libertarian ~in some areas~. I don't think the government
                    should be spending all the time and money and effort to keep Joe
                    Smoker from smoking a spliff on his couch. That's a "victimless
                    crime" as I understand it.

                    But if that stoner starts driving his car around my neighborhood under
                    the influence, this becomes more public, now doesn't it?

                    > I am afraid of the idea of someone who is not God telling someone else
                    > how they must live their life.

                    Like a minister? A parent?

                    > Because that is exactly what he was called by Paul in the Holy Spirit
                    > when that exactly is what happened, namely he (e.g. Nero Caesar) did
                    > not raise his sword against adultery, fornication, and
                    > sabbath-breaking and yet Paul told us he, and all other kings and
                    > states, existed providentially to punish evil.

                    Ok, let's plug this in and see how it works --

                    "Let every soul be subject unto NERO, For there is no NERO but of God:
                    the NERO that is, is ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth
                    NERO, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist NERO shall
                    receive to themselves damnation. For NERO is not a terror to good
                    works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of NERO? do that
                    which is good, and thou shalt have praise of NERO: For NERO is the
                    minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil,
                    be afraid; for NERO beareth not the sword in vain: for NERO is the
                    minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
                    Wherefore ye must needs be subject TO NERO, not only for wrath, but
                    also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for
                    NERO AND HIS LIKE are God's ministers, attending continually upon this
                    very thing. Render therefore to NERO his dues: tribute to NERO, to
                    whom tribute is due; custom to NERO, to whom custom is due; fear to
                    NERO, to whom fear is due; honour to NERO, to whom honour is due."

                    Could this be what Paul meant, that if you don't want to be afraid of
                    Nero, just do good, then Nero will praise you instead of punish you, etc.?

                    DOES THAT MATCH ANYTHING WE KNOW OF NERO?

                    Nero, and all other tyrants, would love to have that poster on their
                    wall, and would order all the government sponsored ministers to preach
                    this in every pulpit (oh... wait...
                    http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=57219 ).

                    Maybe Paul (who did good, and yet was probably beheaded by Nero) meant
                    something else?

                    > Thanks for your sympathy Jerry but I think I made a big mistake when > I
                    > got involved with paleo-presbyterianism. I know that's not what you
                    > wanted to hear but that is the root of these remarks.

                    No, I'm not thrilled about hearing that, but I do appreciate you
                    explaining this.

                    Have a good and profitable Lord's Day,

                    gmw.
                  • gmw
                    ... Is that how you view your opposition? -- that we that hold to theonomy believe that the government should use the sword/gun against you for violating
                    Message 9 of 23 , Oct 7, 2007
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                      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "forisraelssake"
                      <c_tylor@...> wrote:
                      >

                      > This discussion has been about two things, first theonomy vs.
                      > libertarianism, so rather than being an inessential side-point, it is
                      > the point. Do we, in the New Testament, respond retributively to
                      > violations of all 10 Commandments--and enforce God's complete morality
                      > through the sword/at gun-point,

                      Is that how you view your opposition? -- that we that hold to
                      "theonomy" believe that the government should use the sword/gun
                      against you for violating "thou shalt not covet?"

                      gmw.
                    • Deejay
                      Hi Chris, ... Sorry, I didn t mean to lose the plot! Just that this statment, (following) is the very same argument I have heard used as to why practicing
                      Message 10 of 23 , Oct 7, 2007
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                        Hi Chris,

                        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "forisraelssake" <c_tylor@...> wrote:
                        >

                        > I have no idea what you're even talking about with respect to
                        > homosexuality.

                        Sorry, I didn't mean to lose the plot! Just that this statment, (following) is the very same argument I have heard used as to why practicing homosexuals can legitmately call themseves Christians.  That mere men have no right to tell them how they should live their lives.  It's a different  subject, but its still the same argument which arounses both suspicion and caution just by it being so.

                        >>>m afraid of the idea of someone who is not God telling someone else
                        how they must live their life. Even with the best of intentions and a
                        benevolent respect for God's authentic moral will, that is still
                        enslaving someone else against their will to your dictates, which is
                        still a type of slavery. I don't believe States have any more power
                        than the individuals who compose it, so if you don't have power to
                        tell someone how to live their life when your own life, liberty and
                        property are not at stake, then neither does the State made up of
                        people like you.

                        >
                        > This discussion has been about two things, first theonomy vs.
                        > libertarianism, so rather than being an inessential side-point, it is
                        > the point. Do we, in the New Testament, respond retributively to
                        > violations of all 10 Commandments--and enforce God's complete morality
                        > through the sword/at gun-point, or do we respond retributively only
                        > against aggressions and assaults against person and property--while
                        > preaching God's complete morality in all the catholic churches?
                        >

                        Thanks for restating the points!  I don't think most people desire retribution in the eye for an eye tooth for tooth variety of the old Testament  unless its very clear that it should be so. (Murder for instance) In fact, I think that's one of the fundamental flaws in Theonomy.  In that goes from divine retribution, and turns into a form of "revenge" by the severity it sometimes advocates.  I have read Bahnsen in the past, but haven't retained much of it.  I don't believe Bahnsen was one of the bad guys,  I just disagree with him some.

                        ~Deejay



                      • still_loving_u_143
                        ... legitimize ... followers of ... confused ... anything in ... is ... morality ... of
                        Message 11 of 23 , Nov 17, 2007
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                          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "forisraelssake"
                          <c_tylor@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > Chris,
                          > >
                          > > that would seem the same argument used by a minority, to
                          legitimize
                          > > calling themselves "Christian homosexuals."
                          > >
                          > > As for Bahensen, I know many Presbyterians, who are not
                          followers of
                          > > and disagree with Bahensen on many, many issues. I'm a bit
                          confused
                          > > what Bahensen or his theonomic view has to do with much of
                          anything in
                          > > this.
                          > >
                          > > ~Deejay
                          > >
                          >
                          > Hi Deejay,
                          >
                          > I have no idea what you're even talking about with respect to
                          > homosexuality.
                          >
                          > This discussion has been about two things, first theonomy vs.
                          > libertarianism, so rather than being an inessential side-point, it
                          is
                          > the point. Do we, in the New Testament, respond retributively to
                          > violations of all 10 Commandments--and enforce God's complete
                          morality
                          > through the sword/at gun-point, or do we respond retributively only
                          > against aggressions and assaults against person and property--while
                          > preaching God's complete morality in all the catholic churches?
                          >
                          > We've also started talking about a second related point, is freedom
                          of
                          > religion desirable or undesirable, which more or less collapses back
                          > into the first point about theonomy vs libertarianism.
                          >
                          >
                          > Chris
                          >
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