Caleb and Mallory

The word I want to emphasize at this wedding is the word heritage. We have the privilege today of witnessing, not only the wedding of two individuals in Christ, but also the wedding of two distinct, but very complementary, heritages. I want to talk about the unique blessings that we are praying that God will bring out of this blessed union.

The two streams that are coming together here are the streams of covenant commitment, centuries of it, and evangelical warmth and application, three and four generations now. They are coming together in a distinct way—not to say the former has no warmth, or that the latter has had no notion of covenant. I am rather speaking here of varying cultural manifestations, which is a matter of emphasis. And in this wedding, I see only the strengthening of both heritages.

The Lord Jesus taught us that foundations are important in the building of houses. If you have no foundation, you cannot withstand the inevitable storms that come (Matt. 7:24). The way we build houses today, that foundation is provided by the footings, and by the concrete walls that we pour to rest on those footings. That is what covenant commitment is like. This is just the way it is. Covenant understanding won’t shift or budge on you. Straight lines, unyielding, cold, gray, covenant concrete. Every house needs that, and needs it underneath absolutely everything. This not unloving—it is the foundation of love. You can always take it as a fixed given that these are my people. The lines of the house are straight because the foundation lines are straight.

The Mind of a Free Man

Villainy is not honest. I mean, c’mon.

This means that when rulers are ungodly, we should expect them to be like their father, the devil, who is the father of liars (John 8:44). When they lie, they speak their native language. Bitterness and cursing are under their tongue, but of course never at the press conference.

False teachers do not knock on your door with a brief case full of literature, and say, “Hello, I am here from the devil, and I have come to lead you into eternal torments.” That kind of stuff never makes it into the brochures.

False kings have confidence in the American people. They simper, flatter, and coo. They do what they do “for the children,” meaning of course the ones they haven’t chopped up — but all very constitutionally.

Now this is not just a character assessment. It has ramifications. And the ramifications directly affect, at the end of the day, our compliance. Or, I should say, if we are following the ramifications, our lack of compliance.

Think of it this way. We know that when they say same sex mirage is marriage, they are wrong. It isn’t. When they say that an unborn child, that rejected son or daughter, is just a lump of tissue, they are wrong. He or she isn’t. When they say that we can borrow trillions backed by nothing but the whistling wind, and grow wealthy thereby, they are wrong. We can’t.

All this is obvious to us, and it is why we are having the political conflicts we are having. But take it a step further.

These same people, these people to whom the truth is as rigid as their tongues, which is to say, not very, say things about their authority to impose their legal grotesqueries, and call it constitutional. But this is just as much a lie as the other stuff. Their cargo is two ton pallets of lies, but so is their flat bed truck. And they are just blowing down the road.

They say that what they are doing is constitutional. But it is not. They say that what they are doing is legal. But it is not. They say that what they are doing is lawful. They lie. They say that they have the authority to do these things. They do not. They say that we have to honor their decisions. We do not. God “frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;” (Is.

The legal reasoning is probably over your head. Don't worry about it.

The legal reasoning is probably over your head. Don’t worry about it.

44:25).

In short form — and I know I will need to develop this further — Romans 13 does not apply. We do not have to dutifully honor illegal laws. We are not under the authority of the lie.

Before I develop it in weeks to come, conduct a thought experiment for yourself. Suppose the president appoints a czar, a czar of a task force that is called the We Don’t Care About the Constitution Task Force. They issue decrees and regulations, and, of course, promulgate stuff. They tell you that you and your family must comply with these Ridiculous Measures, and of course, you must do so because of the Crisis. Are you bound, or not?

I am talking about your conscience, and not about judgments of prudence. I might give a mugger my wallet without conceding his right to it, and I have no obligation to tell him about the five hundred dollars in my boot. I might hand over something to the government for the same reasons that I would hand over stuff to the pirates who had captured my ship.

Get the principle down first. They are lawless, and they lie about it.

And Pretending You Don’t Have a System Just Means It Is Biblically Ungoverned

“The need to speak biblically to the people of God is central . . . This means that there is a sense in which we must insist that the people of God can be divided into two groups — tares and wheat (Matt. 13:25ff), sheep and goats (Matt. 25:32, those who have the Spirit and those who do not not (1 John 4:13), and so on . . . And, at the same time, there is another sense (a different sense) in which we must insist that genuine branches can be cut out of the Vine which is Christ (John 15:1-6) or lopped off the olive tree of the new Israel (Rom. 11:17ff), or that wheat can fail to grow to fruition (Matt. 13:3ff) . . . We must not pit these metaphors against one another for the sake of a system; we must use them all in different circumstances, as appropriate. We do not juxtapose them and choose which set we want to preach on. We layer them, accepting them all” (Against the Church, pp. 151-152).

Let It Ebb and Flow

“Another serious and very common mistake is in the effort to maintain uniform energy throughout a discourse . . . In highly passionate speaking there must be variety, alteration” (Broadus, Preparation and Delivery, p. 378).

Mercy, Not Sacrifice

“So if there is a biblically defensible liturgy coupled with biblically indefensible lives, this is a routine maneuver by sinful men to try to put God into their debt by doing just what He told them to, as though it were a paint-by-numbers kit. And since that is how the sinful heart of man loves to think, in Scripture God takes their paint-by-numbers kit out of their hands, and pitches it away from Him in holy disgust. They are bewildered because He was the one who ordained it in the first place. And so Jesus said to them, ‘Go and find out what this means . . .’” (Against the Church, p. 149).

No Theological Schadenfreude

“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #158

Charity “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (1 Cor. 13:7).

In this verse, we see that love does four things. Two of them are active, and two are responsive. In the middle of Paul’s thought, love believes all things and it hopes all things. This faith and this hope operate in tandem. “Believes all things” does not refer to gullibility, but rather refers to a non-cynical attitude. Love wants it to go in a positive direction, and does not want a crash so that it may indulge in a little theological schadenfreude, watching the triumph of total depravity once more.

It is striking that this is not a rose-colored glasses thing because this same charity bears all things, and endures all things. Love puts up with a lot, but does not do so in a way that makes it stop believing all things and hoping all things. This means that the “bearing” and the “enduring” are not done while muttering under the breath. The faith and hope are carrying a load, and the carrying of the load is not done in a way as to become grievous.