Christ in the Public Square

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The Banty Rooster is glad for my clarification on “owning the curse” the other day, and has no real problem with my position now, as clarified. But he still thinks this amounts to a rhetorical reversal from what we published last year in our “Sodom As Yawnsville” issue of Credenda. So I thought I would just include a few quotations below from that issue that show that we have been clear on this from the beginning. These quotations show (then and now) that of course we do not believe in the institutionalization of vice. But we do believe that liturgical Pelagians will not bring about a civic Reformation, however many petitions they sign. The issue (both then and now) has to do with priorities. If the Church wants the nation to obey Jesus, a good start would be for the Church to obey Jesus in all those countless areas where we still have practical control over our own behavior. We would all be upset if the state mandated that all sermons must be dumbed down, and limited to less than fifteen minutes. “You can’t do that! It’s the job of the local church to see to it that the sermons are dumbed down and kept under fifteen minutes!” We dumb our worship services way down in the name of 40 days of purpose-driven something or other, and we are doing it all by ourselves, and to ourselves. The evangelical Church in America wants civic maturity and responsibility, all the while cultivating liturgical immaturity and infantilism. The point of our issue was this — take your pick. You can’t have both. A fair reading of that issue would see this point coming through clearly. Here are some samples, with some new emphases in bold.

“Third, ministers must repent of their silent voices on this and all related subjects. Form this time forward, the pulpits of America must be filled with holy demands for reformation of liturgy and worship, sound teaching on what marriage is and what it is for, and prophetic calls for the nation as a nation to repent–and as a nation to come to Jesus. Christ told us to disciple the nations, and that includes this one. As events are demonstrating, there is no third way. Either we will see reformation and glorious revival in the Church, such that the Church recovers her authoritative and prophetic voice, or we become the cities of the plain” (p. 5).

“True repentance in the Church, not trust in civil coercion, will either restore that order or establish a different order” (p. 8).

“Despite the best of intentions, those Christian activists who want to chase homosexual marriage out of the public square without also acknowledging the lordship of Jesus Christ in that square are condemned to hopeless defeat after hopeless defeat” (p. 5).

We insist on the acknowledgement of Christ’s lordship everywhere, and this has obvious ramifications for marriage. So do we want biblical standards upheld in the public square? The answer is clear — of course we do. When Jesus turned down Satan’s offer of all the kingdoms of the world, He did not say no because He did not want them. He wanted them, and intended to have them. But He intended to have them in full submission to the Scriptures, and would not take them idolatrously. And that is what we have argued, and are arguing.

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