First They Came For The Tea Party…

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  1. Super helpful, Dr. Clark! Any advice on how Christians and local pastors should continue to think and act about this issue? Say, hypothetically, that a minister was asked to address the community Rotary group, city council, etc…. would this be a useful topic to address?

    • Brian,

      This is a difficult question on which good people will likely disagree. I would put it under the categories of conscience and wisdom rather than duty and morality. Some would say that ministers ought not to speak to civil questions because it is outside of or contrary to their office. I don’t share this view but I do think ministers should be restrained in the way they speak to civil matters. I certainly agree that ministers should not participate, as ministers, in partisan politics.

      Machen testified before congress. He wrote and spoke against laws he regarded as stupid and unconstitutional. He criticized stupid and unconstitutional laws in Nebraska and Oregon forbidding foreign language instruction (in the context of WWI and fear of German influence and spying). Surely he would have opposed the wholesale internment of Japanese Americans as unconstitutional and un-American. He also criticized jay walking laws as contrary to civil liberties. My views, I think, run toward his libertarian leaning tendencies. He didn’t think that his ministerial office prohibited him from speaking to civil issues and particularly to matters of civil and religious liberties.

      Ministers are citizens of both spheres of the twofold kingdom of God. We are, in our office, principally representing or ambassadors for the kingdom of God, of which the visible church is Christ’s embassy. Nevertheless, we are citizens in this world and its kingdoms and in the American republican system, we have a voice and freedom to speak in defense of the constitution.

      Were I to give a talk to a civic group I would make it clear that I was not speaking on behalf of a political party or as a partisan but I think I have liberty to help people think through constitutional issues and to defend civil liberties.

  2. I like Ron Paul’s idea of abolishing the IRS, replace it with nothing, and the other 55% of gov’t income comes from elsewhere and budgets adjust accordingly.

  3. I heard this story on a conservative talk radio show this morning. It’s revolting.

    On another note: The guy in the red tie to the right continually broke the fourth wall.

  4. Still Waters Revival have some more observations, and as for what you can hear and read from Pastor D. A. Waite …

  5. It appears that we’ve reached a level of abuse of government power far beyond what the real “greatest generation” during the War for Independence ever knew. The most shocking thing to me, though, is the relative indifference of even some of the best educated and most discerning people. Again and again I hear responses like, “Yeah, that’s bad, but it’s just the way things are.” Most of the people I hear talk this way are committed Christians, Bible-believing Christians, most who claim to be – gasp! – Reformed.

    It’s time to reclaim Francis Schaeffer’s phrase “personal peace and affluence” and point the finger straight at ourselves. Too many of us are content with the 21st-century version of Roman bread and circuses. We live comfortably, we don’t feel oppressed on a day-to-day basis. We think most of the problems are “out there.” We’re not really silent, though; we’re good at complaining. But it’s complaining from the complacent. A lot of good that accomplishes (meaning nothing).

    Regardless of your view of two-kingdom theology, one fact is undeniable: Reformed Christians have often been on the front lines in the battles for civil and religious liberty. I’ll leave the arguments for causation or correlation for another day. When I look at our forefathers in their relation to the world around them, I see how big they were, and how small we are.

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