Sunday, February 26, 2006

Christian America and The Rule of Law

This is a collation of posts by me and Chris Rhoades on the politics forum at Puritanboard.

Separation of Church and State
Historically, this is how it has been viewed:1) Papalism: The Church dominates the State. I reject this view for obvious reasons.2) Erastian: The State dominates the Church (the functional position of most Americans). I likewise war against this view.3) (Modified) Voluntarism: I do not believe that the State should dominate the church, nor vice-versa. However, this does not necessitate pluralism (a logical joke). However, someone's morality WILL form the basis of a society's legal policies. With R.B. Kuiper I maintain "Both the church and the state are sovereign, each in its own sphere, and each must recognize the other's sovereignty" (316). --------------------------------------------------------The State can only give negative sanctions. It can only restrain the sinful nature of man. Whenever it interferes into economics, education, The Church, etc., it screws everthing up. I will conclude, decisvely, with the words of Patriot John Adams, "Statesman may plan and speculate liberty, but it is religion and morality alone upon which freedom can securely stand. A patriot must be a religious man>: No, I won't conclude. I am on a roll. Enter Groen Van Prinsterer. He maintained that political programs are "inescapably value-laden, or based on ultimate philosophical principles." In other words, whose morality will dominate: Christ's or Humanistic Judges?Francis Schaeffer thunders, "No totalitarian authority nor authoritarian state can tolerate those who have an absolute by which to judge the State and its actions!" (emphasis added for "annoying" reasons).How Should we Then Live? I could go on but that would be overkill. Summary Statement: I stand for maximum individual liberty under biblical law.

In other words, thing "Kuyperian" on this area--sphere sovereignty. This way, we avoid a Byzantine fusion of Church and State.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Even in Insanity, Thy word still reaches me

Unbelieving thought is ultimately reduced to two positions, both of which end in absurdity:

Rationalism--I only believe in things that the human mind can give an account of. Unfortunately, this position depends on man's finite mind knowing the infinite in an exhaustive, infallible way from all eternity, and able to apply that knowledge perfectly. In other words, for man to know anything, he must know everything. Man does not know everything, therefore, he cannot know anything.
Further, when faced with data that does not fit his scheme, the rationalist will either say that the data doesn't exist, or give up his sceme altogether. In short, the rationalist quickly becomes irrational.

Irrationalism--The human mind realizes its finitude and says that man cannot know anything. But can it know that it doesn't know anything? I can deny that we can even know the truth of irrationalism. But if I do this, then one must renounce any attempt to convince others that you are right. Although you can say this, can you really live that way? I don't know anything but I don't even know that I can know that.
Rather than deny that I know the truth altogether. One can become insane, if you will. What's teh problem with that? God's word can reach even the mental hospital!!!!!!!!! His rational word can make even that difference!

When God's grace draws after you, you cannot resist. You cannot say no to him in whom all the promises of God are yes and amen. Do you remember the words of Francis Thompson?
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat -- and a voice beat
More instant than the Feet --
"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."

Santiera Cult
This is in tandem with another post I am doing at xanga.

On April 12, 1989, the pluralist attempt to skirt that dificult question
lost all credibility and came face-to-face with the ugliness of pagan society.
The front-page headlines of every major paper reported that authorities had dug
up a number of mutilated hu- man corpses, the vicious results of the religious
ritual practiced by a Mexican offshoot of the Santeria culti satanic sacrifices.
The problem posed to Dr. Spykman is not simply a matter of hypo- thetical and
tritling intellectual games. Real Satanists murder real people in real
subservience to their real religious choices. Now then, should the civil
magistrate respect this religious ritual of Santeria? Or should he rather in
good (but morally prejudiced) conscience follow Christian values in giving a
civil response to satanic sacri.tlce

And then Bahnsen finishes the argument with one hammer blow:

The libertarian-tainted spirit of our age tempts us toward an all-too-easy “answer” to this problem. Without due reflection we are tempted to reply that, because atl faith-commitments must be equally protected, the pluralist position could adjust the pun- ishment and restraint of satanists who are destroying the lives and liberty of those who do not share their particular ftith-commit- ment. That is, there is an implicit restriction in the pluralist equal-protection clause: viz., one may not use his own religiow liberty so as to infinge upon or impede the practice of another's religious libetiy. This reply does not an.wer the original question, howeveq it simply shifts the question to a more basic issue. Given the pluralist commitment to the equal-protection of all ftith-commitments, would he not need equally to protect those fh.iths which do not honor the restriction which was just enunciated here? Some religions do, and some religions do not. Apparently, the Santeria faith does not. Would the pluralist implicitly impose his Christian religious con- victions on the followers of Santeria by requiring them to dishonor their own religious convictions about human sacritlce and/or to dishonor their rejection of the restriction just stated? If he would, b too is “prejudiced.” If he would not, his position is morally bankrupt.