Sunday, April 6, 2008

Political Liberty IS in the Bible:

Jon Rowe wrote a piece on his interpretation of Romans 13, to which Jim Bakka responded on Positive Liberty. Mr. Bakka clearly follows the interpretation ascribed to John Calvin, Martin Luther, and others. I do not have a problem with different interpretations of an unessential to the faith, like Romans 13; my issue is with some of the men who claim to be authorities, who lack basic common sense, such as: Dr. Greg Frazer, who teaches political science at The Masters College, and Dr. Robert Kraynak of Colgate. In fact, both, write ideas supposedly found in the Bible, that aren't there, not even implied. Here, is an example:

"First, as Kraynak pointed out, “the biblical covenant is undemocratic: God is not bound by the covenant and keeps His promises solely out of His own divine self-limitation.” Second, “(t)he element of voluntary consent is missing from the covenant with Israel….There is nothing voluntary or consensual about the biblical covenant; and the most severe punishments are threatened by God for disobedience.” http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6564473&postID=7023634957184753884&isPopup=true

Maybe those men are reading a different bible. Does Kraynak, Frazer, or even Rowe, whose blog it appears, believe God forced Abraham's seed into servitude? There is not a single doubt as to a covenant/compact God made with Abraham and his descendents; undemocratic? The covenant is throughout the Torah:

Deuteronomy 4:31(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

Deuteronomy 5:2 "The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb."

The Compact between God and Israel in the Book of Joshua:

Joshua 24:22 "And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses."

As a matter of fact, the covenant started with Abraham as early as Genesis 15;18:
"In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates."

Here is the basis of the covenant with Abraham agreeing to it by circumcision:

Genesis 17:13:
He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

Genesis 17:23:
And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.

The rest of Frazer's post in Rowe's blog is equally incorrect, and not worth a rebuttal. Jon Rowe also shows his lack of biblical knowledge, and history, as he writes:

"Rather, the Biblical record in no uncertain terms shows that God unilaterally burdened His people with the law of Moses without their consent or approval. And the notion that people must "consent" to the laws which will rule them is entirely a Whig or 18th Century republican ideal, not a biblical idea." http://jonrowe.blogspot.com/2008/04/whoring-christian-religion-for-politics.html

These statements are all too common with secular intellectuals; in the Reformation writings, "Consent" is on every page; Republicanism(Biblical Law enforced by representatives of the people)starts in Exodus 18, and is thoroughly, and completely elucidated in "Vindici"(A Defense Against Tyranny) and Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex(Law is King).

John Quincy Adams identified it (Vindici) one of the most influential writings on the eve of our war for independence, and be assured, all the founding fathers, including First Chief Justice John Jay, understood it was the correct interpretation. Here, Adams sums up that our Constitution(Law) is based on Christianity:

"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."

-- John Quincy Adams, (Thornton's accurate summary of Adams' quote) An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport, at Their Request, on the Sixty-first Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), p. 5.

Adams' quote is easy to affirm from Common Law in general. Reformers and Pre-Reformers: John Rutherford, Thomas Aquinas, Bullinger(who was before Calvin), Beza(who advocated non-violent resistence), Martin Bucer, John Knox, his pastor Christopher Goodman, George Buchanan, Francois Hotman, John Ponet, Althusius, etc. all agreed only good government was ordained by God in Romans 13. Luther, Calvin, and Melanchton were wrong.

The Bible, and subsequently (A Defense Against Tyranny), is the work the Founding Fathers relied on for justified rebellion against unlawful government, "Vindici" as it was known, said the people collectively, are above the King, yet, individually, each man is under the King in a compact between the King, God, and the people(church), whereby, if the King violated God's Law, he forfeited his Kingdom. That God is to be obeyed over man is all over the document, in fact, only good government is to be obeyed; common sense dictates if man was never to resist an evil king, Israel would have been under the same principle, but it was not; countless times, God destroyed, or had other rulers destroy evil Israelite rulers, such as: Saul, Manasseh, Ahab, Jehoram, Jeroboam, etc.

That the people choose the King, implies consent of the governed; the people's superiority is in Proverbs 14:28:

"In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince."

The want of people is obviously their consent, since the people have the power to remove a King.

Steven M. Dworetz's summary of Romans 13 quotes Calvin and Luther for authority; why quote one man whose theories are easily refuted, and another, who was a racist, advocating burning Jew's houses, searing their tongues with hot irons? Maybe, Mr. Dworetz had heard of the alternate viewpoint, that of the founding fathers, and Reformation. Just because Calvin, Luther, and some early church fathers had a certain interpretation, does not mean they were correct. It is debatable whether Calvin was a Christian at all; he believed his infant baptism secured his salvation. Here is what Dworetz says:

"Basing a revolutionary teaching on the scriptural authority of chapter 13 of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans must rank as one of the greatest ironies in the history of political thought. This passage...served as the touchstone for passive obedience and unconditional submission from Augustine and Gregory to Luther and Calvin....The medieval church fathers as well as the reformers and counter-reformers of the sixteenth century all invoked this doctrine in denouncing disobedience and resistance to civil authorities."
-- Dworetz, The Unvarnished Doctrine: Locke, Liberalism, and the American Revolution, p. 155, quoted in Frazer, The Political Theology of the American Founding, p. 358.

Claiming "all" Christian reformers believed his interpretation is a flat-out falsehood. Has Dworetz heard of "Vindici" (A Defense Against Tyranny) by Hubert Lanquet and Philippe du Plessis-Mornay, published in 1579?

The New Testament relates the same principle as the Old Covenant, explains the Vindici:

"Now...the form...the church and the Jewish kingdom be changed...the same things may be said of Christian kings, the gospel having succeeded the law, and Christian princes being in the place of those Jewry...the same covenant...same conditions...same punishments...the same God Almighty."

And again, the Vindici:

"Kings are ordained by God, and established by the people to procure and provide for the good...in the order of Justice, and in managing of armies for the repelling their enemies."

In Romans 13, we also see the concept "verbal for verbal, and force with force" and "render to all their dues" and "whatever a man sows, he also reaps." Examples in Israel would be Jehoida defending Israel against Athaliah, and Deborah and Gideon defending Israel in like kind.

Christian Kings, as well as ancient Israel needed approval from the people, even kings ascending the throne by heredity needed approval by representatives of the people such as: counts, barons, dukes, and earls. King Louis was choosen instead of the rightful Robert, Earl of Evereux(Annales Gillii). Unitarian Patriot, Jonathan Mayhew in 1750, claimed:

"It is blasphemy to call tyrants and oppressors God's ministers."

It is a fact of history, the Founding Fathers attributed our theory of government and liberty from the Reformation, not the enlightenment:

A Short Treatise on Political Power, John Ponet, D.D. (1556) President John Adams credited this Calvinist document as being at the root of the theory of government adopted by the Americans. According to Adams, Ponet's work contained "all the essential principles of liberty, which were afterward dilated on by Sidney and Locke" including the idea of a three-branched government. (Adams, Works, vol. 6, pg. 4). Published in Strassbourg in 1556, it is one of the first works out of the Reformation to advocate active resistance to tyrannical magistrates, with the exception of the Magdeburg Bekkentis (the Magdeburg Confession)."

John Locke learned some of his theories from Samuel Rutherford, who was a colleague of Locke's parents. The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) In addition to being the decree of Parliament as the standard for Christian doctrine in the British Kingdom, it was adopted as the official statement of belief for the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Although slightly altered and called by different names, it was the creed of Congregationalist, Baptist, and Presbyterian Churches throughout the English speaking world. Assent to the Westminster Confession was officially required at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Princeton scholar, Benjamin Warfield wrote: "It was impossible for any body of Christians in the [English] Kingdoms to avoid attending to it." [Link goes to chap.23, "On the Civil Magistrate."]

This is an interesting quote for anyone who claims James Madison was heterodox as he helped form the nation. Warfield makes perfect sense, the Founding Fathers, including James Madison, adhered to that confession, another evidence of Madison not rejecting orthodoxy until well in the 19th century.

Protestant Reformer George Buchanan started the limited government theory stating, ""it was much safer to trust liberties to laws than to kings . . . confine them to narrow bounds, and thrust them, as it were, into cells of law . . . circumscribe [them] within a close prison." Buchanan believed a Constitution was superior to any ruler: "Kings being accordingly left, in other respects free, found their power confined to prescribed limits only by the necessity of squaring their words and actions by directions of law."

There is no doubt whatsoever, political liberty is in the bible, brought out with the Protestant Reformation, and perfected by the American experiment; called limited governmental power under Biblical Law, and Jesus Christ. Our Tenth Amendment has it's roots in Johannes Althusius's 1603 Politica:

"Besides, whatever power the people did not have it could not transfer to its administrators. Therefore, whatever power and right the administrators did not receive from the people, they do not have, they cannot exercise over the people, nor ought they to be able to do so."

His main point was what arose out of the Reformation was Republicanism; rule by law: Rulers are to be objectively subordinate to "God, the law of nature and of nations, and the ephors."

Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex, further emphasized "Vindici" on Romans 13. Rutherford asserted that the parliament had greater power than the king, a notion disputed at the time. The king did not have unlimited power. To the contrary, any tyranny which opposed justice, peace, and the good of the people, was "unreasonable and forbidden by the law of God and the civil law . . . [it] cannot be lawful power, and cannot constitute a lawful judge . . . How can the judge be the minister of God for good to the people (Rom. 13:4) if he has such a power as a king, given him of God, to destroy and waste the people?" Moreover, Rutherford argued: "God, in making a king to preserve his people, should give liberty without all political restraint, for one man to destroy many is contrary to God's end in the fifth commandment, if one has absolute power to destroy souls and bodies of many thousands."
http://www.phillysoc.org/reformat.htm

Like I've said before, on my blog, the American Revolution, and the Founding Fathers' formation of our country had absolutely nothing to do with enlightenment philosophy, which excluded God from the equation, in fact, the fateous, scholastic elites continue to purport these lies. Separation of Powers(Isa 33:22), property rights(Ex 22), Life(Deut 30:19, Hos 9:13-14), Liberty(Eccl 3:13), Happiness(Eccl 3:13),4th Amendment(Deut 24:10), The Law of Nations(Sovereignty, Deut 19:14), Jury System(Deut 17:6), inalienable rights, freedom of conscience(Entire New Testament), political rights(Torah), etc. all come out of the Bible, and Reformation, espoused by men like: The Prophets, David, Solomon, Jesus Christ, Paul, Peter, James, John Wycliffe(Univ of Oxford), Zwingli, Luther(Univ of Wittenberg), Hus(Univ of Prague), Rutherford, Knox, Lanquet, Mornay, Beza, Aquinas, Hooker(who espoused unalienable rights), Pufendorf, Grotius, and many others.

Eighteenth Century Americans were regulated by the Bible, sure there were a few infidels such as: Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and John Adams, but, since the law is supreme, what is important, is the beliefs of the ratifiers(people) of law, rather than the subjective views of three people; this is something the scholastic elites cannot admit or allow, thereby, holding to their agenda.

There are far many more orthodox than heterodox preachers who affirmed the correct, biblical, reformation, view of Romans 13, as I've described above; some of these include: Samuel Davies(Distinguished successor to Jonathan Edwards at Princeton), John Witherspoon, Jacob Duche, Isaac Backus, Samuel Sherwood, George Whitefield, Elhanan Winchester, Ezra Stiles, Samuel Langdon(President of Harvard 1774-1780), Elizur Goodrich, Nathaniel Emmons, Samuel Wales, William Smith, and many others. The unitarian preachers comprised a fraction of the pro-rebellion preachers.

Here, the use of philosophical language to evidence a lack of orthodoxy is debunked, note, this is how preacher's of the 18th century spoke:

“Religion cannot subsist without right notions of God and divine things; and entire ignorance or mistakes in its fundamental articles must be destructive of its nature; and therefore a divine revelation must be a collection of rays of light, a system of divine knowledge; and such we find the Christian revelation to be, as contained in the sacred writings.”
Samuel Davies
[Quote from his sermon “The Divine Authority ... of the Christian Religion.”]

Davies(The Apostle of Virginia) left his mark as scholar and patriot on his students, particularly the eleven members of the Class of 1760 whom he taught as seniors. ``Whatever be your Place,'' he told them in his baccalaureate address, ``imbibe and cherish a public spirit. Serve your generation.'' This they did. Among the eleven were a member of the Continental Congress, chaplains in the Continental Army, judges in Maine and Pennsylvania, the founder of a college in North Carolina, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. http://etcweb.princeton.edu/CampusWWW/Companion/davies_samuel.html
Davies was a primary founder of the Presbyterian Church in Virginia and North Carolina, the advocate and defender of the South's civil rights and religious liberties.

Maybe I should speak in philosophical language; let the secularists call me an infidel! This is, in fact, how Christians used to speak about God. The South's fervor for independence in the coming conflict with Britain was established with Davies' ministry; the presbyterian church, not the unitarian church, was the pulpit of independence. As Patrick Henry, a congregant in one of the churches established by Davies, later said, “Were it not for him, America freedom would have been still-born. In the Gospel he preached, the energy he displayed, and the courage he lived day by day, he modeled the true American temper.” http://www.kingsmeadow.com/2006/09/samuel-davies.html

Henry's oratory, which Jefferson and Madison could not match, employed Davies' speaking ability; the variety of (pitches) "sounds" in his sermon delivery, as well as alternating back and forth from religious to philosophical(classical) terminology. Davies' second wife, Jane Holt, was the daughter of a Williamsburg mayor and printer, and provided Davies with direct access to the Virginia Gazette, which he used as a platform for defending his own and other dissenting clergy's rights to preach. At the time of his death, in 1761, Davies' sermons were well known and influential as models for other clergy; by the time of the Revolution, they were among the most widely circulating collections of sermons in the colonies, particularly in the Middle Colonies, Virginia, and North Carolina...The rhetorical education of Scottish Presbyterians carried a legacy of beliefs about human reason, human rights, congregational polity, and the educability of moral sensibility through the written and the spoken word. Like I said earlier, this is reformation doctrine, not enlightenment. http://www.historicpolegreen.org/swearingenlecture.html

Incidently, no one helped educate the blacks more than Davies, who aggravated most southerners believing blacks were equal with whites. I agree with Dr. Swearingin about Davie's impact(and Presbyterianism) on Patrick Henry, and of the growing fervor of independence in the Southern Colonies in general, but her quoting the Scottish Englightenment as it's foundation is incorrect; consent, human rights, reason, religious tolerance, inalienable rights, etc are not products of the enlightenment, they are products of the Bible, illuminated to the world by men of the Reformation. The enlightenment brought about humanism, rationalism, and reason as the ultimate authority, neglecting the supernatural and biblical revelation. Hutcheson, Paine, Voltaire, Hume, Rousseau, Leibniz, and Kant, all neglected the Bible as the Supreme Authority.

Jon Rowe, along with most of the academic elites, miss the boat; here, Rowe believes an Orthodox Christian's use of philosophical language is from the enlightenment, but as this blog shows, we know for a fact, these terms were used by preachers at that time and by Christians three hundred-fifty years before, perfected in political rhetoric during the Reformation (1500-1678):

"John Witherspoon was one of those evangelicals who contributed to the spread of secularism in American life. His Lectures on Moral Philosophy, what he primarily taught his Princeton students like James Madison, did not teach Christian or Calvinist principles, but rather Scottish Enlightenment principles." http://jonrowe.blogspot.com/2008/04/christian-blog-on-search-for-christian.html

This blog has already proven John Witherspoon did not deny one word of the bible in favor of rationalism. http://ourfoundingtruth.blogspot.com/2008/02/john-witherspoon-james-madison-and.html




26 comments:

Jonathan said...

Heh. And don't you wish YOU presented a Witherspoon Lecture for the Family Research Council.

http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WT04C02

My favorite two passages are this one:

In the first place, Christianity puts duties to God and neighbor before claims of rights; and it cannot easily accept the proposition that a right to pursue happiness as one sees fit takes precedence over duties to God and man. After all, the Bible uses the language of divine law rather than the language of rights to express morality and justice; it gives us the Ten Commandments rather than the Bill of (Ten) Rights, and the commands not to kill and not to steal do not necessarily mean that others have a right to self-preservation or to own property. Even the command to love one's neighbor as one's self is not necessarily the same as respecting the rights of others--if, for example, loving one's neighbors means imposing on them for their own good in order to save their souls or to steer them away from sin (as we would wish for ourselves). In other words, divine law commands duties to others and reciprocal obligations, and those commands do not necessarily entail respecting others' rights and may even require subordinating rights to higher duties.

And this one:

They also provide insight into why traditional Christianity places more emphasis on "inner freedom"--the freedom of the soul from sinful desires--rather than "external freedom"--the freedom from external political controls, including the controls of a repressive state or the institution of slavery. Thus, when St. Paul spoke of Christian freedom, he meant inner freedom, not the external freedom from the state protected by natural rights. Thus, Paul could say (without contradicting himself) "for freedom Christ has set us free ... do not submit to the yoke of slavery" (Gal. 5:1) and "slaves, obey ... your earthly masters" (Col. 3:22). Paul is not endorsing slavery in his admonitions to obedience; but he is saying something that is hard for modern Christians to understand: Inner freedom from sin is more important than external freedom from oppression, making spiritual freedom a higher priority than claiming one's rights.

Our Founding Truth said...

In the first place, Christianity puts duties to God and neighbor before claims of rights; and it cannot easily accept the proposition that a right to pursue happiness as one sees fit takes precedence over duties to God and man.>

This is logical; God, not happiness created you, we should love God first and foremost.

the Bible uses the language of divine law rather than the language of rights to express morality and justice;>

In the first place, Christianity puts duties to God and neighbor before claims of rights; and it cannot easily accept the proposition that a right to pursue happiness as one sees fit takes precedence over duties to God and man.>

This is logical; God, not happiness created you.

the Bible uses the language of divine law rather than the language of rights to express morality and justice;it gives us the Ten Commandments rather than the Bill of (Ten) Rights, and the commands not to kill and not to steal do not necessarily mean that others have a right to self-preservation or to own property.>

The command is not to murder not kill, necessitates the right to someone not to be killed, or preserved.

"The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes . . . of universal application-laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws."

John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States
Letters of John Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), p. 61.)

You're fortunate I wasn't there, property ownership is covered in Ex 22, divine law does cover rights.

Even the command to love one's neighbor as one's self is not necessarily the same as respecting the rights of others>

Loving others IS the same as respecting, you used the word, IMPOSING on them, the new covenant forces nothing on anyone, salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ.

"slaves, obey ... your earthly masters" (Col. 3:22). Paul is not endorsing slavery in his admonitions to obedience; but he is saying something that is hard for modern Christians to understand: Inner freedom from sin is more important than external freedom from oppression, making spiritual freedom a higher priority than claiming one's rights>

As I walk in Christ, I can say along with Patrick Henry:

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Jonathan said...

Patrick Henry didn't write sacred scripture and Paul did. Your whole blog is an exercise in how Americanism pollutes the purity of the orthodox Christian faith. You are importing things into Christianity that are about as authentically Christian as is the book of Mormon.

Our Founding Truth said...

Your whole blog is an exercise in how Americanism pollutes the purity of the orthodox Christian faith.>

What? How has Americanism polluted the essentials of Christianity? Everything I've posted, from the Christian State Constitutions to the framers praying to Jesus Christ as the Law of Nature, has been accurate. What part of my blog has corrupted orthodoxy?

If anyone is orthodox, you know it's me, and you know I'm big on free will; in that limited realm, I'm a sort of arminian.

You are importing things into Christianity that are about as authentically Christian as is the book of Mormon.>

Like what?

Tell Frazer, Bakka, Dworetz, Kraynak, and everyone else you know, if they disagree, to at least answer what I've posted.

Did I make up the words regarding covenant in the bible? If you guys are going to write such things about the bible, I think it's fair to say, that you should use the bible to support those things.

the book of Mormon.>

Are you kidding me?

Jonathan said...

I think you missed the point on the covenant.

I didn't see one passage in your response where you showed there was anything "voluntary" or "consensual" on the Jews' part in their capacity to accept or reject the covenant. They were God's "chosen" people and the Jews had no part in that choice; it was all God's.

Our Founding Truth said...

I didn't see one passage in your response where you showed there was anything "voluntary" or "consensual" on the Jews' part in their capacity to accept or reject the covenant.>

Did I write my blog in Chinese? Read the verses again, the Jews initially agreed by getting circumcised, and later agreed several times to Moses and Joshua. Jon, it's all right there to read, I'm sure you have a bible.

The Jews made several covenants with God, why not, it was the best deal you could have. There was the Abrahamic Covenant, and Mosaic Covenant, which I mentioned, as well as the Adamic, Noahic, and Davidic Covenants.

Here is a link to get info on them; it's too bad the Jews broke every covenant.

http://www.gotquestions.org/Mosaic-covenant.html

Tell those academics to see what I wrote.

OFT

Our Founding Truth said...

Another admission of the Jews' agreeing to the Mosaic Covenant occured while receiving the Law at Sinai, in Ex 19:8:

And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.

Jonathan said...

I see what you are saying now. You still haven't adequately grappled with the issue. The way a voluntary contract works, is both sides agree and can walk away from the deal keeping what they originally had, without harm. If I hold a gun to your head and make you sign the contract, your signature is not evidence of actual consent.

Likewise the Bible makes clear that the Jews had no voluntary choice in the matter. The Jews circumcised their babies for the same reason why slaves obeyed their masters.

Our Founding Truth said...

If I hold a gun to your head and make you sign the contract, your signature is not evidence of actual consent.>

It sounds like you aren't sure what consent to a covenant is. The word covenant means "relationship." A covenant is a sign of God's love and protection; the Jews agreed to parameters of the Mosaic Covenant.

Your analogy is way off, God did not hold a gun to their heads; can you find that in the Bible? The Jews consented to the terms of the covenant.
For example, if you were married, had a family, and cheated on your wife, there will be consequences you cannot get out of. For instance, shame, embarrassment, and guilt, as well as financial consequences.

Let see you get out of a covenant, like you said, without harm? If a covenant isn't supposed to be permanent, what is?

Likewise the Bible makes clear that the Jews had no voluntary choice in the matter.>

Ex 19:8:

And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.

Hey Herc, is that verse in Chinese?

The Jews circumcised their babies for the same reason why slaves obeyed their masters.>

Slaves? you mean blessings like no other. For obedience, the Jew received: eternal life, their own land, which they still have, individual health, and for his family, financial prosperity for himself and his family.
Name a covenant that is a fraction of that?

mroberts said...

I don't see where Jonathan is getting this idea that the Jews were forced into the covenant with God. God laid out what he had in made for the covenant, including his requirements and the consequences if the Jews did not live up to the covenant, and the Jews chose to enter into it. How is that forcing one to enter into the covenant? How is that having a gun to their head? The Jews could have walked away from it if they wanted. They saw what God required of them and they chose to go with it. I don't see how this is so complex.

Jonathan said...

The authors of Wikipedia have a much better understanding of the plain meaning of biblical text than you do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenant_(biblical)

God's covenants with the Israelites are foundational to the Torah, as well as to the Tanakh in general, and form the grounds for the claim that the Israelites are God's "chosen people." According to the terms of these covenants, the Israelites were told that they must worship God and obey His Commandments in order to receive spiritual and temporal blessing and avoid exposure to the effects of the curse.[1] When the word "covenant" is used in this sense, the agreement is essentially unilateral, since while the covenant's outworkings are dependent upon human response, its terms are dictated by God. By contrast, at many points in the Hebrew Scripture, human covenants are made - in such covenants, the terms are agreed upon mutually.

mroberts said...

Jonathan,

I don't see why you are confused about this. Just because God dictated the terms of the agreement does not mean that the Israelites could not have walked away from it. It does not matter whether it was God, the Israelites, or a combination of the two that came to create the terms of the covenant. That is irrelevant because the Israelites STILL could have chosen to reject the covenant. I just installed some software on my computer, and as a condition of the installation I had to agree to the EULA. I had no say in the terms of the EULA, but I could still choose whether or not I wanted to abide by it. There was no coercion here, either I chose to agree to the licensing agreement and install the software or I didn't.

Where is the confusion here?

Hercules Mulligan said...

Hi OFT. This looks like a good post. I have been very busy lately, and have not had all that much time to read or blog (although I should be back in gear in a few weeks).

I've tagged you over at The Foundation Forum, if you don't mind the little assignment. :)

http://thefoundationforum.blogspot.com/2008/05/mulligans-8.html

Our Founding Truth said...

Hey Herc,

I'll click over there, I've been busy as well, I can't believe I finished that post, honestly, I put a lot into it, it may be one of the best posts I've written. Our founding had nothing to do with the enlightenment, not even for science, math, or the arts, that was all out of the Reformation, by Christians.

I heard some info last night that our education system(literacy laws) were based on standards the reformers started; if a child couldn't read, they could be fined, the bible being their first textbook, the framers realized if the people couldn't read, they couldn't read the Word of God, and know if their government violated biblical principles.

Can you imagine that happening now?

I've been working on the book as well.

Your Obedient Servant

OFT

mroberts said...

Hey OFT, why don't you go get yourself a haircut!!!!

Our Founding Truth said...

Give me ten bucks and I'll get one!

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with the Book of Mormon? It's better than the self-defeating, contradictory crap you find in the "Holy" Bible.

Our Founding Truth said...

What's wrong with the Book of Mormon?>

What exactly are you referring to?

It's better than the self-defeating, contradictory crap you find in the "Holy" Bible.>

What verses are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

I'm talking about the entire "holy" bible. The crap about talking snakes, the entire world being flooded, and all the other garbage that is OBVIOUSLY false.

Hercules Mulligan said...

How is all that so obviously false?

First of all, the entire world being flooded is not "obviously false," when you take two facts into account:
1) there is archaeological evidence around the world of catastrophic flooding, and
2) rain showers alone were not the only cause of the Great Flood according to the Bible, but rather the water that is below the earth's crust burst up from the bottom of the crust; I think that the great trenches under the sea, like the Marianas Trench, which still spew amounts of water out, are the "scars" of where most of the floodwaters came from.

So the Great Flood is not "obviously false."

As far as talking snakes, how do you know that such a recording is obviously false? The world, including living things, before the Fall was quote different from today. So who says that because snakes don't talk now, they never did? Eve showed no surprise that the snake spoke to her; maybe it was normal, or at least not surprising, that an animal could talk.

If you think the whole Bible is false, I would suggest you do some genuine research into such areas as how the Bible has been confirmed to be historically reliable (mostly through the advancement of archeology), scientifically advanced for its day, etc. etc.

Don't believe every skeptic you see handed a microphone on TV.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow!

If you really believe that the ENTIRE world was flooded I'm very sorry. Ask any Geologist. They will tell you that there was NO catastrophic flood in the past 40,000 years that covered the entire earth...it just didn't happen.

As far as talking snakes, maybe things were different...then again, things are different if you take meth. There is NO SUCH THING as a talking snake!

mroberts said...

>> What's wrong with the Book of Mormon? It's better than the self-defeating, contradictory crap you find in the "Holy" Bible. >>

Anonymous, it doesn't appear that you are arguing from a educated position. I am always amazed at people that try to demonize the Bible when they obviously know nothing about it. For one thing, the history of the Book of Mormon is absolutely unverifiable. There aren't even maps in the back of it, yet archaeologists have verified events and places in the Bible time and again. Places like Nineveh, Babylon, Ur, Tyre, etc. are all prominent in Biblical history as well as major civilizations such as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Medes, etc. The Bible has been proven as a history book, something the Book of Mormon has not. To call the Bible "contradictory" as well is kind of funny actually, because it is the Book of Mormon that has been edited and reedited over the last 150 years. My dad has an old edition Book of Mormon and it is SIGNIFICANTLY different than the one today (the politically incorrect stuff was edited out when the church prophet suddenly had a vision from God that happened to coincide with changes in U.S. federal law). The Bible has texts that are verifiably the same from thousands of years ago. We have a copy of the Book of Isaiah (which the Book of Mormon quotes at length by the way) that was found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. It matches perfectly with the text we have in Bibles today except for a few punctuation errors. Look, have an opinion, but do yourself a favor and educate yourself first. What you said about the Bible is FAR from the truth, and you would see that easily by simply picking it and a good history book up and reading them.

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