Counsel of Chalcedon
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1990 Issue 8

One of the many things which amazes me about our great Lord and Savior was His ability to say the right things at just the right time. In Matthew 22, Jesus confounded the Sadducees (who were trying to trick Him) by turning their unbelief against them. The Sadducees, who were the religious liberals of the day, did not believe the Scriptures. This unbelief was especially evidenced by their rejection of the resurrection. The Sadducees tested Jesus by presenting Him with a hypothetical problem resulting from the Levirate law. According to this law, if a man died with no children, his next of kin had a duty to marry the widow and raise up children in the dead man's name. In the absurd situation presented by the Sadducees, seven brothers married the same poor woman, none of whom was successful fathering a child. In the resurrection, the Sadducees wondered, whose wife will she be. I love Jesus' response to those unbelieving hypocrites: "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:29~30). Knowing that the Sadducees could not care less about this poor widow, Jesus responded directly to their unbelief by declaring that God is not the God of the dead but of the living.

Gary North is one of the most important and productive Christian writers of our time. He has helped many younger Christian writers (including this reviewer) to find their way into print.

Political Polytheism, his latest work, is a spirited theonomic attack on (1) the idea of religious and ethical neutrality and (2) on the idea that these United States were founded on a Christian basis. It is a volume of four parts. The first is a discussion of Biblical covenantalism and its legal applications. The second is his attack on "halfway covenantal" ethics, social criticism, and historiography, which judicially divide Old Covenant Israel from so-called New Covenant nations, which hold that there are no sanctions in history for disobeying God's national covenantal laws. The third is an attack on the United States Constitution as "apostate covenantalism," mancentered covenantal legal theory which in principle removes God and Christianity in the name of the false god of political pluralism. The final section outlines what Christians should do to restore our national covenant.

I was shocked, angered, saddened, and disillusioned to hear recently that two friends of mine--one a minister and the other an elder in the Presbyterian Church in America--had renounced Protestantism and had joined the Roman Catholic Church. It grieved me to hear that they had abandoned the Bride of Christ and committed adultery with "the whore of Babylon," that they had left Christ and joined themselves with an antichrist. You can imagine what this did to their congregation. I still find it hard to believe, although they are not the only ones who have left presbyterian and episcopal churches in recent years to return to Rome. There appears a small trend, which we should be aware of and concerned about. The one thing most of these people have in common is that they have been dominated by the influence of a dwindling group in Tyler, Texas, who refer to themselves as reformed catholics."

This week you started your Junior year in high school. Unbelievable! I am grateful beyond measure for you. Little girls are supposed to admire and look up to their mothers, and I hope that in some areas you are able to do so. But many times I find myself looking up to you, not only physically, which I must do since you are currently about four inches taller than me. I look up to you in many other areas as well. You are a compassionate, open-hearted friend. You value honesty in relationships, whether it's pleasant at times or not You know how to work hard and have fun at the same time. You are determined and trustworthy. You are unusually thoughtful of the feelings of others, particularly those whom you love or pity, And yet you are very strong and opinionated (I see the same tightening of the jaw as your father in an argument and know the battle is already won!).

When is sin not sin? When it can be reclassified under another heading? The Scriptures clearly teach that abuse of alcohol is a sin and labels it as drunkenness. Paul lists this sin in I Corinthians 6:10 as evidence of an unregenerate heart and accordingly states that drunkards "will not inherit the kingdom of God." Since humanistic psychology is built on the evolutionary theory of the origin of man, it can not stand the thought of man as created in the image of God nor allow that our problems stem from 'a willful rebellion against the God who is there and has spoken in His Word. How does it cope with this problem of reality. RECLASSIFICATION.

Many Christians are very concerned that Sunday observance is in decline under secularist pressure. Voltaire, one of the philosophical fathers of the humanistic French Revolution, believed that the destruction of the Christian Sabbath would hasten the demise of Christianity. Voltaire was right. The Sabbath is a vital mark of our freedom under God and we need to know our theology of the Sabbath when certain questions are raised or risk the loss of our liberty: To what degree is the Old Testament Sabbath law binding today? How and by whom should Sunday be kept as a sabbath? What about Sunday trading, organized sport, and the opening of cinemas? Does the fourth commandment require legislation by the state to preserve or enforce conditions favoring Sunday observance in which Christians benefit but non-Christians are frustrated in the pursuit of their objectives? Since the Sabbath began with God, the future of Sunday must be determined by His word not by the opinion of "the reasonable man." Here we have to do with a life principle from God as opposed to a humanistic principle--a way that leads to death. It is of vital importance to society as a whole.

Dear parents of covenant children,

I am so excited to begin a parent/child column in The Counsel. My thanks to the editor, Bob Bailey, for giving me this opportunity to share with you and your children the "heart's intent" behind my music!

My husband, Wayne, called me from his office some months ago and said, "Judy, I've found the verse of Scripture that is the basis for your music ministry--Psalm 8:2!" This verse, of course, is a very familiar one, at least up to a point: "Out of the mouths of children and nursing infants. God has ordained praise ... ". But guess what? The verse goes on at that point without even missing a beat, "...because of his enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." Wow! That concept made my head spin! We saw clearly here something that we'd never seen before: God wants our children to praise Him in order to shut the mouths of His enemies when they hear our children's praise and to raise up righteous little voices in their place!

"Onward Christian Soldiers" is a familiar and timely hymn for our day. A look at current events awakens the Christian that the battle continues. Disregard for the Word of God regarding the role and limit of civil government has produced a looming economic disaster, death for millions of aborted babies, and growing attacks on Christian families even the Church and our Lord.

The realization that the civil government has spent our tax money on blasphemous and pornographic picture displays, in the name of the National Endowment for the Arts is alarming. A description is not appropriate for this article, but understand that it is intolerable for this kind of action by our Civil Government to go unchecked by the people of God.