Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dare to Be Daniel, Dare to Obey the Speed Limit

Many of Gregg Frazer's lectures have been uploaded to The Master's College's Pulpit Files here. You can listen to a number of them where he discusses the Founding Fathers and religion.

This is the newest lecture. He discusses the Romans 13 obedience/submission dynamic that I've featured on my blogs.

It's a refreshing orthodox biblical perspective that you don't oft-hear. For instance, you'll hear Dr. Frazer justify, on biblical grounds, 1) the idea that Christians are to pay all of their taxes. All of them, even if you think they are unjust. And 2) Christians are to obey government simply because government said so; that is, unless government commands a believer to actively or by omission sin (for instance tell a believer to stop preaching the gospel). That's the one exception to the always obey rule. That means you drive the speed limit because government said so.

20 comments:

CybrgnX said...

Being a demon atheist doing only what feels good and not controlled by the buybull, all that is required when speeding is to not get caught. but then when riding the roads the one fact that sticks out is there is a lot of xtians sinning like hell.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Welcome to the real world, Cybxcvgdxxz. The Church is full of sinners---in fact it was made for sinners.

Man, I'm just not in the mood for underinformed foolishness today, Ben.

______________

It's a refreshing orthodox biblical perspective that you don't oft-hear. For instance, you'll hear Dr. Frazer justify, on biblical grounds, 1) the idea that Christians are to pay all of their taxes. All of them, even if you think they are unjust.

Well, this "refreshing" bit is confusing if not troubling, Jon.

Even at the surface level, would it be "refreshing" to argue that Martin Luther King's civil disobedience was somehow unChristian?

Jonathan Rowe said...

It depends. MLK didn't write sacred scripture, according to the theory. To the extent Dr. King submitted himself to the authorities when he disobeyed them, that's certainly part of Frazer's understanding of the Bible.

If MLK disobeyed the law when he could have obeyed without sinning, then no, that is not, accordingly, "Christian" or "biblical."

If you listen to the lectures you'll see Gregg (and those for whom he speaks) is entirely with Operation Rescue. That is until they break the civil law by trespassing, which they advocated and for that reason alone he opposed them.

It's certainly not a Christianity that sells well in a rebellious Americanist culture. But that's the point. That's why it's refreshing.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Sheeplike, you mean. Shut up and do what the secularists tell you, you mean.

You know, even before the Reformation, Christians didn't believe they always had to obey the Pope, either. Very interesting Church Father stuff here:

http://www.romancatholicism.org/duty-resist.htm

And analogous to Operation Rescue, we have the Underground Railroad, which certainly was breaking the law, and which was lousy with Christians. I don't think there are too many Christians, right or left, who are down with trashing the Underground Railroad in the name of Jesus.

How about laws against giving money to panhandlers?

Gregg's selling, but few are buying or find his brand of sheeplike Christianity "refreshing" atall.

[Which is ironic, since that's what they're so often accused of...]

Jonathan Rowe said...

Sheeplike, you mean. Shut up and do what the secularists tell you, you mean.

No way. No fucking way, to use a term that Gregg would not approve of. These are some of the ballsiest, most courageous folks I've ever come across.

Watch this video with the story of Dr. Wong (one of Gregg's colleagues) and try to argue assert with a straight face that these folks don't demonstrate as much if not more courage, standing up for Christian Truths in the face of government oppression than King, Bonhoffer, or anyone involved in the underground railroad movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08CNJziEChs

Joe Winpisinger said...

John,

I agree with Tom that a doctrine that Hitler and a host of other Kings and pricks used to oppress and kill people is not refreshing. It is one thing to say not to lead a rebellion. I can possibly see some biblical merit in that stance. It is another to say that not obeying a tyrant law is sin. David was a fugitive from the law of the tyrant Saul. By running he was in violation no less than one would be today. So is Frazer's argument that David should have obeyed and just turned himself in knowing that Saul was going to kill him?

You have got to be kidding me. He argument is flawed from the beginning and his attempts to take his thoughts to their logical conclusions is more disturbing than refreshing. In both a practical and biblical sense. The very text of the Bible disproves his theory as I noted above and continue to do. There are numerous other examples of people not just sitting and taking it in the Old Testament as well.

Frazer's extreme view is not the only Christian one. This is true now and historically.

Joe Winpisinger said...

I might add that Interposition seems to be an exception too. That has nothing to do with preaching the gospel. In fact, one could make an argument that desposing tyrants furthers the gospel. In other words, tyrannical governments tend to repress efforts of Christians to win converts and to advocate their demise would be standing up for the right to preach the gospel.

Look at the Tibetan lands of the world which are some of the most unreached with the message of the Bible(Muslim nations at least have some notion of the stories from the Bible) where the ones that are under oppressive governments are the most unreached. Same people, same culture, and similar language and the greatest factor involved in the message spreading is what type of government they live under.

I went to several of these villages and talked and prayed with people that had never seen a westerner let alone heard anything about the Bible. I had to break about 50 Chinese laws to do it. What would the good Dr. that has probably never gone to this logical conclusion of his beliefs(putting his ass on the line so those who have never heard can) have to say about that?

When it is your ass on the line you doctrine tends to change.

Joe Winpisinger said...

I might add that this experience in China and my thoughts on bad governments being the biggest impediment to the spread of the Bible and its ideas were the first seeds of doubt that began to spring up about the validity of dogmatic interpretations of Romans 13. I have since changed my view and have decided to dedicate my life to the creation of good government. This would seem to entail a built in right to depose the government if it becomes tyrannical at its core.

I would build it on Locke's argument for tolerance and rights based on man being the workmanship of God. I think this would entail resisting those that seek to damage God's property with tyrannical laws.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Heh. Run with this one, Joe. The Thomists de Vitoria, Suarez and Bellarmine already spoke for me, and us, against the divine right of kings and other such nonsense:

The canonist and theologian, Fr. Francisco de Vitoria, O.P. († 1546) told us the same.

“According to natural law, violence may lawfully be opposed by violence. Now, through the acts permitted and the orders of the kind under discussion, the Pope does commit violence, because he is acting contrary to what is lawful. It therefore follows that it is lawful to oppose him publicly. Cajetan draws attention to the fact that this should not be interpreted as meaning that anybody whosoever can judge the Pope, or assume authority over him, but rather that it is lawful to defend oneself even against him. Every person, in fact, has the right to oppose an unjust action in order to prevent, if he is able, its being carried out, and thus he defends himself.” (Obras, pp. 486-7)



All of the Faithful have the right to oppose the actions of a corrupt pope and to try to prevent his harmful policies from being carried out. It is “lawful to oppose him publicly.”



The theologian, Francisco Suarez S.J. († 1617), said likewise.



“If the pope gives an order contrary to right customs, he should not be obeyed; if he attempts to do something manifestly opposed to justice and the common good, it will be lawful to resist him; if he attacks by force, by force he can be repelled, with a moderation appropriate to a just defence.” (De Fide, Disp. X, Sec. VI, N. 16)



The Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J. († 1621), wrote a treatise on the Papacy which was used as a basis for the definition of the limits of papal infallibility which was made at Vatican I. He wrote as follows:



“Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed.” (De Romano Pontifice, Lib. II, Ch. 29)

A pope “who attempts to destroy the Church” is not to be obeyed but “it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed.”


Oh, as if a king or a government gets higher respect? This is Christianity as if observed from Mars via MTV. Mebbe it's refreshing, but can we get serious here?

And Jon, you don't even believe any of this shit, so get somebody here who does, and wants to defend trashing the Underground Railroad. That'll get kicked to the curb real quick.

Joe Winpisinger said...

Tom stated:

"And Jon, you don't even believe any of this shit, so get somebody here who does, and wants to defend trashing the Underground Railroad. That'll get kicked to the curb real quick."

I would agree.


Also, Tom i notice in your quotes that these guys did not even argue from an interposition point and gave the right to resist to the individual. Maybe Mr. Calvin collectivized the right to resist as taught by the Thomists?

I am going to pursue what I stated above. There is much to learn but idea of inalienable rights based on seeing man as the workmanship of God is the baseline. This made it into our DOI and I would argue was a catalyst for the Bill or Rights.

I have been busy but I cannot decide whether to stay on interposition and Calvin or move on to Locke and workmanship of God. I think we all can agree that America was not created to be a secular nation. What is left is to evaluate the influence of Judeo Christian ideas on the founding.

Jonathan Rowe said...

KOI:

If you listen to the lecture, they don't argue from Calvin; they argue from the Bible.

Their point on Calvin is that he supported their point of view which is the biblical point of view.

I still have to do my Calvin post which I will by rehashing much of what's been said. But their point on interposition was that Calvin believed it MUST take place within the confines of already existing positive law like Congress impeaching the President.

Jonathan Rowe said...

King:

Again, you have to listen to the lecture. They, over and over again, deal with your China hypo and one of Dr. Frazer's colleagues LIVED through it.

You obey Chinese law until doing so is a sin. Then obey God not man. Since God demands believers evangelize, you break whatever laws you need to to get the WORD out.

And when they come to arrest you for it, you do what Jesus and the other Apostles did: You SUBMIT and take your punishment.

Joe Winpisinger said...

Jon stated:

"Their point on Calvin is that he supported their point of view which is the biblical point of view."


No, Jon, it is the OPINION of what is a biblical point of view. If they say that the missionary should break all the laws he needs to get the gospel out and then take the punishment then why not David too when He broke the law by not obeying Saul and turning himself in as a traitor? They praise David in one sense for not killing Saul but their logic seems to condemn him in the next breathe for not turning himself in?

I was told very early on by a Christian to always look for Old Testament examples to help explain New Testament writings and people's doctrines based on them. He told me that the Old Testament shows how God interacts with people. I find this was some of the best advice I ever got in trying to understand the Bible.

With that said, Frazer seldom argues from the Old Testament and most of the counter-arguments that I have heard lodged against him are from the Old Testament. I think you should do a study of all the times that someone resisted an authority figure and take notes. Yes, at times you will see the the judgement of God on someone who rebelled. But more often than not you will see people like Othniel rise up and take out a tyrant. It is the whole book of judges. The book of Kings and Chronicles is full of it too.

Read it for yourself and make up your own mind. I would start with Othniel because you are going to have to defend Calvin's use of that story and how it contradicts much of what Gregg says. He was raised up by the Spirit and rebelled. He was not in any type of position to interpose. Either Calvin was mistaken in using this reference or Frazer does not understand Calvin.

This is one of Babka's problems with Frazer's interpretation of Calvin as well. THE PROBLEM WITH USING A CHRISTIAN'S ARGUMENTS WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THE THEOLOGY YOURSELF IS THAT YOU CANNOT HONESTLY AND THOROUGHLY CRITIQUE HIS IDEAS WITHOUT THAT KNOWLEDGE. People at Ed's blog quote other Christians all the time but do not realize the absurdity of quoting arguments that do not know enough about to evaluate.

I am not putting you in that crowd because you have studied this pretty good. But it seems mostly from the thoughts and writing of others rather than reading the Bible for yourself to check their arguments.

I repeat again as well that Mayhew uses the same text as Frazer did and comes to different conclusions based on the fact that he thinks it illogical to pay honor to a tyrant. The text does say that if you take it Frazer's way.

Jonathan Rowe said...

I was told very early on by a Christian to always look for Old Testament examples to help explain New Testament writings and people's doctrines based on them.

Who told you this? The hermeneutic Gregg uses holds while both the OT and NT are "God's Word," the OLD is to be interpreted in light of the New and not vice versa.

Re "opinion" on what the Bible says, I could agree. However, as I noted before, while you can, thru hermeneutics, get a Bible that does not contradict itself, what inevitably results are thousands of hermeneutics of a contradictionless Bible that contradict one another. And then evangelicals argue among themselves with such lines as "the Bible teaches TULIP" v. "the Bible teaches TUIP" v. "the Bible teaches TULI" and so on. This is what evangelicals are paid to do.

Brad Hart said...

What! Protestant Evangelicals are supposed to obey the speed limit? You could have fooled me. Co. Springs is full of Evangelical churches (one of the largest in the nation) but my department never has a problem finding wannabe NASCAR racers who treat I-25 like the Daytona Motor Speedway!

I did enjoy the lectures you posted, Jon. When I get a free moment I plan on giving them an ear. Very inspiring video too!

Joe Winpisinger said...

Jon stated:

"Who told you this? The hermeneutic Gregg uses holds while both the OT and NT are "God's Word," the OLD is to be interpreted in light of the New and not vice versa."

Why? If you are talking about 'salvation issues' maybe he is right. Jesus did fulfill the law. I should have been more clear. I am talking about trying to understand how God interacts with people in spheres like government. I feel that one can learn more about this by looking at the stories of the OT than trying to figure out what an obscure and controversial verse from a more than confusing epistle that only gives us privy to half the dialogue.

Either way, Calvin used Othniel. You have to explain that. To do that you have to read that story and similar one for yourself to see if the Bible "forbids all rebellion." Good luck because I know the story and it is in no way consistent with what they believe Calvin was saying. I still have not heard why David was wrong for not turning himself in?

Either way it really does not take away from my proposition that the DOI was an interposition. At best one can say it was not a "Calvin Interposition".

Joe Winpisinger said...

Jon,

You description of the evangelical movement, or really Christianity itself, is much like Madison in Federalists 10 and 51. I think it is good to have so many differing opinions of what the Bible says. In fact, I leave room for God to use one passage to say different things to different people in different contexts. This makes sola scriptura people nervous but I think it is reasonable.

My issue is just with others proclaiming other heretics with certainty. Jason K does an article on Ann Raynd this week in which he cites an "objectivist' that turned him off because of his arrogant certainty that caused him to not consider or be influence by contrary ideas. I think diverse groups as the Frazerites and the Braytonites as guilty of this fatal flaw.

No one can be that sure as to say that their view IS THE BIBLICAL ONE. When they do I take what they say with a grain of salt the rest of the time. You should too.

Joe Winpisinger said...

Jon,

I listened to a few minutes and turned it off. He states that in I Samuel 8 that God states that "civil government" is coercive and cofiscatory. That is not true. This is where God tells Israel what a "king" that ask for will do. It is a king not all civil government.

Why does he make such simple mistakes like that? His whole view is of one that has a dim view of human nature and think government has "satanic" influences. This completely ignores the fact that Israel had judges appointed by the people for years before they chose a King. Choice being the operative word here. But since Gregg at his core does not believe we have a choice and everything is God's plan he cannot see this and makes false statements like the one I stated above.

If you do not believe me read it for yourself. He is a Buddhist type Christian in my mind in that he seems to think that the world is evil and the idea is to separate oneself from it. Jesus prayed the heaven would come to earth.

Jonathan Rowe said...

I'm in the process of verifying one footnote of Calvin's. But based on what I've seen from "Institutes" Gregg's understanding that Calvin demanded interposition take place within the confines of the positive law is correct.

Joe Winpisinger said...

Jon stated:

I'm in the process of verifying one footnote of Calvin's. But based on what I've seen from "Institutes" Gregg's understanding that Calvin demanded interposition take place within the confines of the positive law is correct."

If true then Calvin contradicts himself by using the story of Othniel. I will have to read it over again myself and really analyze what he was saying. But a word to the wise:

Always check everything these preachers say by reading it yourself from the Bible. Many of them are just repeating things they were taught not speaking from the heart about their own interaction with the test. I was not popular in church because I actually looked the stuff up and checked them. Most doctrinal arguments that evangelicals make are paper thin.