Re: Social Covenanting is Biblical Justified [I Changed the Subject line]
- --- In email@example.com, truepresbyterian
> Dear Mr. Taron,
> Your attitude is rather offensive --- bordering on blasphemy.
> You might just as reasonably have written to Edgard on another topic
> and said:
> Dear Edgar, ....
> I'm glad to hear you still believe in Baptism but really
> what is there to believe? That people may make a promise
> and get sprinkled with water? You believe that God holds people
> accountable to the promises that they make? Protestants
> are "promise keepers" no more no less.
> Making a promise and a vow to Almighty God is a blessed means
> of grace but that is all it is.
> "All it is" --- what sort of estimation is this, of divine
> appointed by God as the means he will use to honour himself in theworld?
> salvation of his people and manifestation of his glory in this
> Your attitude makes light not only of the principles of our
> and deeds of the godly saints of Scripture, but of God's law, andthe
> ordinances of his Covenant of Grace.Dear True Presbyterian,
> True Presbyterian
Sorry that sounded causal to you, I was talking to Edgar. What is
your name? I will gladly address you if I may know who it is that I
To make a long story short, perhaps two things could be said:
One, tongue in cheek would be that of course we have no desire for a national covenanted presbyterian church because then we couldn't celebrate `Kwismas'.
Two, one of our dear brethren in a certain religious entity quoted the Scottish GA regarding the SL&C which indicates the original intent by the original parties in unequivocal language, whatever one's opinion to the contrary is. The quotes below are taken from a '06 letter to the Washington Society in answer to questions about covenanting, the RP church and the SL&C. Personally, as compared to the PPSA or the Tattoo paper I think it makes a much more coherent case for the point argued. The gist of the letter can be found here under Q.3; the quotes from the Records of the Kirk here:
"Although there were none in the one kingdom who did adhere to the Covenant, yet thereby were not the other kingdom nor any person in either of them absolved from the bond thereof, since in it we have not only sworn by the Lord, but also covenanted with Him. It is not the failing of one or more that can absolve the other from their duty or tie to Him: Besides, the duties therein contained, being in themselves lawful, and the grounds of our tie thereunto moral, though the other do forget their duty, yet doth not their defection free us from that obligation which lies upon us by the Covenant in our places and stations. And the Covenant being intended and entered into by these kingdoms, as one of the best means of steadfastness, for guarding against declining times: It were strange to say that the backsliding of any should absolve others from the tie thereof, especially seeing our engagement therein is not only National, but also personal, everyone with uplifted hands swearing by himself, as it is evident by the tenor of the Covenant. From these and other important reasons, it may appear that all these kingdoms joining together to abolish that oath by law, yet could they not dispense therewith; Much less can any one of them, or any part in either of them do the same. The dispensing with oaths have hitherto been abhorred as Antichristian, and never practiced and avowed by any but by that man of sin; therefore those who take the same upon them, as they join with him in his sin, so must they expect to partake of his plagues" (The Records of the Kirk of Scotland, A. Peterkin, ed., August 6, 1649, p.552).
"Albeit the League and Covenant be despised by the prevailing party in England, and the work of Uniformity through retardments and obstructions that have come in the way, be almost forgotten in these kingdoms, YET THE OBLIGATION OF THAT COVENANT IS PERPETUAL, and all the duties contained therein are constantly to be minded, and prosecuted by every one of us and our posterity" (The Records of the Kirk of Scotland, A. Peterkin, ed., July 27, Session 27, 1649, p.548, emphases added).
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Tim Cunningham" <timmopussycat@...> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, "bob_suden"
> bsuden@ wrote:
> Tim-You are equivocating. Whether the SL&C was an oath first, it
> became a treaty later. And it is not the same thing as the NC even if
> it's authors so intended. As previously noted God is not a party to
> the SL&C while he is to the NC.
It is not a question of whether God is party per se, but whether it is a lawful oath. They swore to uphold biblical Christianity in church and state as it was later confessed in the West. Standards and to maintain that attainment in their generations. Even if it is asserted/denied that it is unlawful for the state to affirm or swear such an oath, the church is still bound by it.
> Tim-When Parliament acceded to Charles' actions, the SL&C became null
> and void as a national obligation, although the men who went back on
> their sworn word were oath (not covenant) breakers, since a true
> coventant had not been established between the nation and God.
Again, King Charles had the formal legal authority to forswear the oath. He had no moral or righteous reason to do so. As Vos says, it was for convenience that the Acts Recissory were passed. The matter of the oath was good and lawful, hence to refuse it was sin.
> Tim-2 states can revoke a treaty at their pleasure. If the same man
> is monarch of both he can do so at his pleasure. Now he might be
> morally guilty of breaking his sworn word not to do this, and the
> Parliaments that supported him might have had members who did
> likewise (as well as some who had of course not sworn the SL&C), but
> once they did, it was no longer law or obligatory.
> Nor is the church in the UK bound by the SL&C in the way you think.
> It is only obligated (and the obligation is inherent in the NT itself
> and preceded the SL&C by some 1600 odd years) to organize the church
> on biblical lines. Such lines are not necessarily Presbyterian and
> Cameronian, but that subject is outside the realm of discussion
One, 2 states cannot revoke an oath at their pleasure. Granted the SL&C was a mixed oath combining a treaty with it. Two, obviously you do not find presbyterianism to be jus divinum. You are therefore not presbyterian and reformed. As for Cameronianism, you will have to define what you mean. The Cameronians were constitutionalists. King Charles had broken the constitution and forfeited the right to rule lawfully. Therefore he was resisted. The distinction is between de jure and de facto, the authority and the power. So too, here in the states the present administration is involved in trashing the constitution in a drive to consolidate power in the executive branch. Opposition is mounting though, to judicially overturn or challenge these policies and statements. Others, among them many Christian conservatives see this as disloyal and rebellious to the current executive, who compared to the previous occupant of the office on a personal basis, is to be preferred. Likewise the drive by the current administration to paint those who run afoul or disagree with its policies with the same brush: unpatriotic, obstructionist, appeasers, sympathizers with Islamofascism etc. The answer is as per the cameronian Samuel Rutherford, lex, rex. The king is not law, but under law.
> Tim-Your understanding is incorrect. Rom. 1:32 "they know the
> ordinance of God" tells us that natural man knows natural law - he
> lies to himself in an attempt to suppress it. Revelation is not
> necessesary to determine true law. One may simply reason by general
> equity from the moral law to apply the moral law to particular
> circumstances, which by the way is how the Westminster Divines
> applied OT civil laws in the NT context.
No, the Westminster divines had the revelation of law in Scripture as their rule to guide them and authoritatively condemn natural law as mediated by the unregenerate cultures such as the Hindu or Papuan which for instance killed the widow upon the death of the husband while upholding some semblance of the 7th commandment and marriage.
> > > Tim-As you yourself say below, "Providence is not the rule of our
> > > actions". What God in providence provides does not always justify
> > > what we may do. And I am not saying that NT civil states may not
> > > choose to promote the Christian faith. There is a biblical
> > > justification they could employ for doing so. But that
> > > does not include the unbiblical practice of swearing of a national
> > > covenant by the state.
> > >
> > At the very least, that remains to be proven rather than asserted.
> Tim-A national covenant is an attempt to swear a state to certain
> obligations before God in anticipation of certain blessings from God
> in return for such obedience. When God promises that he will commit
> to such a covenant in the NT age, then, and only then will such a
> course be justified. The Sinaitic covenant has expired: only the New
> Covenant remains valid today and it will not be superseded before the
> end of the age (Heb. 7:21,24).
?This is immaterial, referring as it does to Christ as a priest after the order of Melchizedek and not Aaron. It has nothing to do with the topic under discussion, the least being that the Sinaitic covenant was ceremonial. Neither did the Aaronic priesthood adminster the civil government in Israel. See Aaron's Rod Blossoming.
> > The revival in Wales came after the Reformation. (How orthodox it
> was is
> > open to opinion. See Hanko's review
> > <http://www.prca.org/prtj/nov2005.htm#The%20Reformation:%A0%20A%
> > y,> of Jeffrey's Evangelicals Then and Now.) A revival is not
> > necessarily a reformation.
> Tim-It was orthodox. See Eifon Evans "Daniel Rowland and the Great
> Evangelical Awakening in Wales" and "Revival Comes to Wales: The
> Story of the 1859 Revival in Wales."
And it was grounded in the previous reformation which allowed it to continue. Otherwise it very possibly could have been snuffed out. Yet the three kingdoms including Wales were Protestant, not Roman, however backslidden and in need of revival.
> Tim-You need to read Evans. A reliance on the living God to build his
> church his way is only putting into practice the words of the
> Lord "Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord" and
> those of the Apostle Paul. "The weapons of our warefare are not
> carnal but they are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds."
> For the NT church, relying on the civil state is nothing more than
> the NT echo of OT Israel relying on Egypt rather than the Lord to
> resist Babylon.
OT Israel assumed not Egypt, but that the king of Israel would uphold the true religion.
> > OT references to the Gentile nations and their rulers - not just
> > Israel - protecting and nurturing the church have to be set aside or
> > explained away as in Is. 49:23.
> Tim-Is 49:14ff. is referring to Israel after Babylon (it is "Zion
> says" v. 23 was fulfilled in Cyrus and Esther.
> > > and a
> > > with a majority of Biblical Christians will move its laws in a
> > > biblical direction as the people grow in knowledge of God and his
> > > ways.
> > >
> > Again that question is how? By osmosis? Good intentions? The
> > is vague at this point.
> Tim-Study the political history of the colonial US and the
> nonconformist conscience in Britain from Wilberforce to Shaftesbury.
Again the context and presupposition in both instances is societies where largely Christian law already holds sway. Again, there is no neutrality. The magistrate must affirm in some fashion a morality and law. Which will it be and how?